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Sample records for bee pollinators increases

  1. Native bees pollinate tomato flowers and increase fruit production

    OpenAIRE

    Barbara Araújo Ribeiro Bergamini; Marcos Antônio Elias; Flaviana Gomes Lima; Bruno Bastos Gonçalves; Leonardo Lima Bergamini; Carlos Melo Silva Neto; Edivani Villaron Franceschinelli

    2013-01-01

    The tomato plant has a specific relationship with native pollinators because the form of its flowers is adapted to buzz pollination carried out by some pollen-gatherer bees that vibrate their indirect flight muscles to obtain that floral resource. The absence and the low density of these bees in tomato fields can lead to pollination deficits for crop. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that open tomato flowers, probably visited by native pollinator, have greater pollen load on their stig...

  2. Native bees pollinate tomato flowers and increase fruit production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Araújo Ribeiro Bergamini

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The tomato plant has a specific relationship with native pollinators because the form of its flowers is adapted to buzz pollination carried out by some pollen-gatherer bees that vibrate their indirect flight muscles to obtain that floral resource. The absence and the low density of these bees in tomato fields can lead to pollination deficits for crop. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that open tomato flowers, probably visited by native pollinator, have greater pollen load on their stigma than unvisited flowers. Another objective is to show that this great pollen load increases fruit production. We selected crops of the Italian tomato cultivar in areas of the State of Goiás, Brazil. Thirty seven plants of three crops each had one inflorescence bagged in the field. Bagged and non-bagged flowers had their stigmas collected and the amount of pollen on their surfaces was quantified. For the comparison of fruit production, we monitored bagged and not-bagged inflorescences and after 40 days, their fruits were counted, weighed, measured and had their seeds counted. The amount of pollen grains on the stigma of flowers available to pollinators was higher than that on the stigma of bagged flowers. On average, fruit production was larger in not-bagged inflorescences than in bagged inflorescences. In addition, not-bagged flowers produced heavier fruits than did bagged flowers. There was a significant difference in the number of seeds between treatments, with significantly more seeds in the non-bagged fruit. Our results show that native bees buzz-pollinate tomato flowers, increasing the pollen load on their stigma and consequently fruit production and quality.

  3. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees.

  4. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-01-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees. PMID:18595841

  5. Fruit set of highland coffee increases with the diversity of pollinating bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tscharntke, Teja

    2003-05-01

    The worldwide decline of pollinators may negatively affect the fruit set of wild and cultivated plants. Here, we show that fruit set of the self-fertilizing highland coffee (Coffea arabica) is highly variable and related to bee pollination. In a comparison of 24 agroforestry systems in Indonesia, the fruit set of coffee could be predicted by the number of flower-visiting bee species, and it ranged from ca. 60% (three species) to 90% (20 species). Diversity, not abundance, explained variation in fruit set, so the collective role of a species-rich bee community was important for pollination success. Additional experiments showed that single flower visits from rare solitary species led to higher fruit set than with abundant social species. Pollinator diversity was affected by two habitat parameters indicating guild-specific nesting requirements: the diversity of social bees decreased with forest distance, whereas the diversity of solitary bees increased with light intensity of the agroforestry systems. These results give empirical evidence for a positive relationship between ecosystem functions such as pollination and biodiversity. Conservation of rainforest adjacent to adequately managed agroforestry systems could improve the yields of farmers.

  6. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  7. Impact of Bee Species and Plant Density on Alfalfa Pollination and Potential for Gene Flow

    OpenAIRE

    Johanne Brunet; Stewart, Christy M.

    2010-01-01

    In outcrossing crops like alfalfa, various bee species can contribute to pollination and gene flow in seed production fields. With the increasing use of transgenic crops, it becomes important to determine the role of these distinct pollinators on alfalfa pollination and gene flow. The current study examines the relative contribution of honeybees, three bumble bee species, and three solitary bee species to pollination and gene flow in alfalfa. Two wild solitary bee species and one wild bumble ...

  8. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Björn K; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-01-22

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wind and self-pollination. Bee-pollinated fruits were heavier, had less malformations and reached higher commercial grades. They had increased redness and reduced sugar-acid-ratios and were firmer, thus improving the commercially important shelf life. Longer shelf life reduced fruit loss by at least 11%. This is accounting for 0.32 billion US$ of the 1.44 billion US$ provided by bee pollination to the total value of 2.90 billion US$ made with strawberry selling in the European Union 2009. The fruit quality and yield effects are driven by the pollination-mediated production of hormonal growth regulators, which occur in several pollination-dependent crops. Thus, our comprehensive findings should be transferable to a wide range of crops and demonstrate bee pollination to be a hitherto underestimated but vital and economically important determinant of fruit quality.

  9. Bats and bees are pollinating Parkia biglobosa in the Gambia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Ræbild, Anders; Hansen, Henrik;

    2012-01-01

    A pollination experiment was conducted with Parkia biglobosa (Fabaceae) in The Gambia. P. biglobosa is integrated in the farming systems and produces fruit pulp and seeds used in cooking. The species is bat-pollinated, and in areas with few bats the main pollinators are assumed to be honey bees...... in significantly less aborted seeds. The treatment which excluded all flower visitors developed no mature pods, indicating that P. biglobosa was not autonomous autogamous, apomictic, or parthenocarpic, while the treatment with confined honey bees showed that geitonogamy is possible. Sugar content of fruit pulp...... beekeeping in the vicinity of P. biglobosa as a way to increase yield....

  10. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  11. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  12. Diversity of wild bees supports pollination services in an urbanized landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowenstein, David M; Matteson, Kevin C; Minor, Emily S

    2015-11-01

    Plantings in residential neighborhoods can support wild pollinators. However, it is unknown how effectively wild pollinators maintain pollination services in small, urban gardens with diverse floral resources. We used a 'mobile garden' experimental design, whereby potted plants of cucumber, eggplant, and purple coneflower were brought to 30 residential yards in Chicago, IL, USA, to enable direct assessment of pollination services provided by wild pollinator communities. We measured fruit and seed set and investigated the effect of within-yard characteristics and adjacent floral resources on plant pollination. Increased pollinator visitation and taxonomic richness generally led to increases in fruit and seed set for all focal plants. Furthermore, fruit and seed set were correlated across the three species, suggesting that pollination services vary across the landscape in ways that are consistent among different plant species. Plant species varied in terms of which pollinator groups provided the most visits and benefit for pollination. Cucumber pollination was linked to visitation by small sweat bees (Lasioglossum spp.), whereas eggplant pollination was linked to visits by bumble bees. Purple coneflower was visited by the most diverse group of pollinators and, perhaps due to this phenomenon, was more effectively pollinated in florally-rich gardens. Our results demonstrate how a diversity of wild bees supports pollination of multiple plant species, highlighting the importance of pollinator conservation within cities. Non-crop resources should continue to be planted in urban gardens, as these resources have a neutral and potentially positive effect on crop pollination. PMID:26187241

  13. Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garibaldi, Lucas A; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Winfree, Rachael; Aizen, Marcelo A; Bommarco, Riccardo; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Harder, Lawrence D; Afik, Ohad; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Benjamin, Faye; Boreux, Virginie; Cariveau, Daniel; Chacoff, Natacha P; Dudenhöffer, Jan H; Freitas, Breno M; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Greenleaf, Sarah; Hipólito, Juliana; Holzschuh, Andrea; Howlett, Brad; Isaacs, Rufus; Javorek, Steven K; Kennedy, Christina M; Krewenka, Kristin M; Krishnan, Smitha; Mandelik, Yael; Mayfield, Margaret M; Motzke, Iris; Munyuli, Theodore; Nault, Brian A; Otieno, Mark; Petersen, Jessica; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Rader, Romina; Ricketts, Taylor H; Rundlöf, Maj; Seymour, Colleen L; Schüepp, Christof; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Tscharntke, Teja; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Wanger, Thomas C; Westphal, Catrin; Williams, Neal; Klein, Alexandra M

    2013-03-29

    The diversity and abundance of wild insect pollinators have declined in many agricultural landscapes. Whether such declines reduce crop yields, or are mitigated by managed pollinators such as honey bees, is unclear. We found universally positive associations of fruit set with flower visitation by wild insects in 41 crop systems worldwide. In contrast, fruit set increased significantly with flower visitation by honey bees in only 14% of the systems surveyed. Overall, wild insects pollinated crops more effectively; an increase in wild insect visitation enhanced fruit set by twice as much as an equivalent increase in honey bee visitation. Visitation by wild insects and honey bees promoted fruit set independently, so pollination by managed honey bees supplemented, rather than substituted for, pollination by wild insects. Our results suggest that new practices for integrated management of both honey bees and diverse wild insect assemblages will enhance global crop yields. PMID:23449997

  14. The pollination of Canavalia virosa by Xylocopid and Magachilid bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Stirton

    1977-12-01

    Full Text Available The floral morphology of Canavalia virosa (Roxb. Wight & Arn. is discussed in relation to pollination by Xylocopa flavorufa De Greer and  Megachile combusta Sm. It was found that the relationship between size of flower and bee influenced the type of pollinating strategy and its success. Bees smaller than M. combusta proved ineffective pollinators.

  15. Enhanced production of parthenocarpic cucumbers pollinated with stingless bees and Africanized honey bees in greenhouses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Euclides Braga Malheiros

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Crops have different levels of dependence on pollinators; this holds true even for cultivars of the same species, as in the case of cucumber (Cucumis sativus. The aim of this research was to assess the attractiveness of flowers of three Japanese parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars and evaluate the importance of Africanized bees (Apis mellifera, and the Brazilian native stingless bees, Jataí (Tetragonisca angustula and Iraí (Nannotrigona testaceicornis on fruit production. Several parameters, including frequency of bee visits to flowers as well as duration of nectar collection and fruit set were examined; additionally, fruit weight, length and diameter were evaluated. Three greenhouses located in Ribeirão Preto, SP, were used for planting three cucumber cultivars (Hokushin, Yoshinari and Soudai. The female flowers were more attractive than male flowers; however, Jataí bees were not observed visiting the flowers. The Africanized and the Iraí bees collected only nectar, with a visitation peak between 10 and 12h. Visits to female flowers had a longer duration than visits to male flower visits in all three cultivars. Africanized bee colonies declined due to loss of bees while in the greenhouse; the native stingless bee colonies did not suffer these losses. When bees were excluded, fruit set was 78%; however, when bees had access to the flowers, fruit set was significantly (19.2% higher. Fruit size and weight did not differ with and without bees. This demonstrates that even in parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars, which do not require pollination in order to from fruits, fruit production is significantly increased by bee pollination.

  16. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value

    OpenAIRE

    Björn K. Klatt; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wi...

  17. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorou, Panagiotis; Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Settele, Josef; Schweiger, Oliver; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  18. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorou, Panagiotis; Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Settele, Josef; Schweiger, Oliver; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens.

  19. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Murray, Tomás E.

    2016-01-01

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  20. Distance from forest edge affects bee pollinators in oilseed rape fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Samantha; Requier, Fabrice; Nusillard, Benoît; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Bouget, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Wild pollinators have been shown to enhance the pollination of Brassica napus (oilseed rape) and thus increase its market value. Several studies have previously shown that pollination services are greater in crops adjoining forest patches or other seminatural habitats than in crops completely surrounded by other crops. In this study, we investigated the specific importance of forest edges in providing potential pollinators in B. napus fields in two areas in France. Bees were caught with yellow pan traps at increasing distances from both warm and cold forest edges into B. napus fields during the blooming period. A total of 4594 individual bees, representing six families and 83 taxa, were collected. We found that both bee abundance and taxa richness were negatively affected by the distance from forest edge. However, responses varied between bee groups and edge orientations. The ITD (Inter-Tegular distance) of the species, a good proxy for bee foraging range, seems to limit how far the bees can travel from the forest edge. We found a greater abundance of cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.) of Andrena spp. and Andrena spp. males at forest edges, which we assume indicate suitable nesting sites, or at least mating sites, for some abundant Andrena species and their parasites (Fig. 1). Synthesis and Applications. This study provides one of the first examples in temperate ecosystems of how forest edges may actually act as a reservoir of potential pollinators and directly benefit agricultural crops by providing nesting or mating sites for important early spring pollinators. Policy-makers and land managers should take forest edges into account and encourage their protection in the agricultural matrix to promote wild bees and their pollination services. PMID:24634722

  1. The global stock of domesticated honey bees is growing slower than agricultural demand for pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Harder, Lawrence D

    2009-06-01

    The prospect that a global pollination crisis currently threatens agricultural productivity has drawn intense recent interest among scientists, politicians, and the general public. To date, evidence for a global crisis has been drawn from regional or local declines in pollinators themselves or insufficient pollination for particular crops. In contrast, our analysis of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data reveals that the global population of managed honey-bee hives has increased approximately 45% during the last half century and suggests that economic globalization, rather than biological factors, drives both the dynamics of the global managed honey-bee population and increasing demands for agricultural pollination services. Nevertheless, available data also reveal a much more rapid (>300%) increase in the fraction of agriculture that depends on animal pollination during the last half century, which may be stressing global pollination capacity. Although the primary cause of the accelerating increase of the pollinator dependence of commercial agriculture seems to be economic and political and not biological, the rapid expansion of cultivation of many pollinator-dependent crops has the potential to trigger future pollination problems for both these crops and native species in neighboring areas. Such environmental costs merit consideration during the development of agriculture and conservation policies. PMID:19427214

  2. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) pollination in California's Central Valley is limited by native bee nest site location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardiñas, Hillary S; Tom, Kathleen; Ponisio, Lauren Catherine; Rominger, Andrew; Kremen, Claire

    2016-03-01

    within sunflower fields, with edges receiving higher coverage than field centers. To generate more accurate maps of services, we advocate directly measuring the autecology of ecosystem service providers, which vary by crop system, pollinator species, and region. Improving estimates of the factors affecting pollinator populations can increase the accuracy of pollination service maps and help clarify the influence of farming practices on wild bees occurring in agricultural landscapes. PMID:27209786

  3. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-08-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time

  4. Breaking-bud pollination: a new pollination process in partially opened flowers by small bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaji, Futa; Ohsawa, Takeshi A

    2015-09-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions have usually been researched in flowers that have fully opened. However, some pollinators can visit flowers before full opening and contribute to fruit and seed sets. In this paper, we researched the pollination biology of flowers just starting to open in four field experiments. We observed the insect visitors to Lycoris sanguinea var. sanguinea for 3 years at five sites. These observations revealed that only small bees, Lasioglossum japonicum, often entered through tiny spaces between the tepals of 'breaking buds' (i.e. partially opened flowers) and collected pollen. We hypothesized that they can pollinate this species at the breaking-bud stage, when the stigma is located near the anthers. To measure the pollination effect of small bees at the breaking-bud stage, we bagged several breaking buds after small bees had visited them and examined whether these buds were pollinated. In bagging experiments, 30% of the breaking buds set fruit and seeds. Fruit-set ratios of the breaking buds did not differ significantly from those of the fully opened flowers, which had been visited by several insect species. We also counted the pollen grain numbers on the body of L. japonicum and on the anthers of randomly-selected and manipulated flowers. These experiments revealed that all of the captured bees had some pollen of target plants and that L. japonicum collected most of the pollen grains at the breaking-bud stage. Our results showed that the new pollination process, breaking-bud pollination, happened in breaking buds by L. japonicum, although there is no evidence to reveal that this is the most effective pollination method for L. sanguinea var. sanguinea. In principle, this new pollination process can occur in other flowering plants and our results are a major contribution to studies of plant-pollinator interactions.

  5. Modification of a Community Garden to Attract Native Bee Pollinators in Urban San Luis Obispo, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbin W. Thorp

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Gardens have become increasingly important places for growing nutritional food, for conserving biodiversity, for biological and ecological research and education, and for community gathering. Gardens can also be designed with the goal of attracting specific wildlife, like birds and butterflies, but pollinators, like bees, can also be drawn to specially planned and modified gardens. A community garden in San Luis Obispo, California provided the setting for modification with the goal of attracting native bee pollinators by planting known bee-attractive plants. The local gardeners participated in a survey questionnaire and focused interviews to provide their input and interest in such a project. Presentations on our work with native bees in urban environments and gardening to attract bees were also given to interested gardeners. Work of this type also benefited from a lead gardener who managed donated bee plants and kept up momentum of the project. Modification of the garden and monitoring of native bees started in 2007 and continued through the growing season of 2009. Diversity of collected and observed native bees has increased each year since 2007. To date, 40 species in 17 genera of mostly native bees has been recorded from the garden, and this number is expected to increase through time.

  6. Pollination value of male bees: the specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cane, James H; Sampson, Blair J; Miller, Stephanie A

    2011-06-01

    Male bees can be abundant at flowers, particularly floral hosts of those bee species whose females are taxonomic pollen specialists (oligolecty). Contributions of male bees to host pollination are rarely studied directly despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, including those of some crop plants. In this study, males of the oligolectic bee, Peponapis pruinosa Say, were shown to be effective pollinators of summer squash, Cucurbita pepo L. Seven sequential visits from male P. pruinosa maximized squash fruit set and growth. This number of male visits accumulated during the first hour of their foraging and mate searching at flowers soon after sunrise. Pollination efficacy of male P. pruinosa and their abundances at squash flowers were sufficient to account for most summer squash production at our study sites, and by extrapolation, to two-thirds of all 87 North American farms and market gardens growing squashes that were surveyed for pollinators by collaborators in the Squash Pollinators of the Americas Survey. We posit that the substantial pollination value of male Peponapis bees is a consequence of their species' oligolecty, their mate seeking strategy, and some extreme traits of Cucurbita flowers (massive rewards, flower size, phenology).

  7. Propagating and Managing orcahrd Mason Bees, Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachildae) for Pollinating Cultivated Blueberry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here, we present a brief overview of our bee trap-nesting study as well as information about propagating and managing mason bees for blueberry pollination, especially the bee species Osmia ribifloris....

  8. Resource Effects on Solitary Bee Reproduction in a Managed Crop Pollination System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2015-08-01

    Population density may affect solitary bee maternal resource allocation. The number of Megachile rotundata (F.), alfalfa leafcutting bee, females released for seed production of Medicago sativa L., alfalfa, may limit flower availability for nest provisioning. In turn, pollinator abundance also may affect crop yield. The M. sativa pollination system presents an opportunity to test for effects of density dependence and maternal manipulation on M. rotundata reproduction. A multiyear study was performed on M. sativa fields upon which M. rotundata densities were altered to induce low, medium, and high density situations. Numbers of adult bees and open flowers were recorded weekly; bee reproduction variables were collected once. Fields varied in plant performance for each site and year, and the intended bee densities were not realized. Therefore, the variable density index (DI) was derived to describe the number of female bees per area of flowers over the study period. As DI increased, percentages of pollinated flowers, established females, and healthy brood significantly increased, and the number of pollinated flowers per female and of dead or diseased brood significantly decreased. Sex ratio was significantly more female biased as DI increased. Overwintered offspring weights were similar regardless of DI, but significantly differed by year for both sexes, and for males also by field and year × field interaction. Overall, resource limitation was not found in this field study. Other density-dependent factors may have induced a bee dispersal response soon after bees were released in the fields that circumvented the need for, or impact of, maternal manipulation. PMID:26314057

  9. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, T D; Looney, C; Strange, J P; Bosque-Pérez, N A

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002-2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002-2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  10. Flight performance of bumble bee as a possible pollinator in space agriculture under partial gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Mitsuhata, Masahiro; Sasaki, Masami; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Space agriculture is an advanced life support concept for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies based on biological and ecological function. Flowering plant species are core member of space agriculture to produce food and revitalize air and water. Selection of crop plant species is made on the basis of nutritional requirements to maintain healthy life of space crew. Species selected for space agriculture have several mode of reproduction. For some of plant species, insect pollination is effective to increase yield and quality of food. In terrestrial agriculture, bee is widely introduced to pollinate flower. For pollinator insect on Mars, working environment is different from Earth. Magnitude of gravity is 0.38G on Mars surface. In order to confirm feasibility of insect pollination for space agriculture, capability of flying pollinator insect under such exotic condition should be examined. Even bee does not possess evident gravity sensory system, gravity dominates flying performance and behavior. During flight or hovering, lifting force produced by wing beat sustains body weight, which is the product of body mass and gravitational acceleration. Flying behavior of bumble bee, Bombus ignitus, was documented under partial or micro-gravity produced by parabolic flight of jet plane. Flying behavior at absence of gravity differed from that under normal gravity. Ability of bee to fly under partial gravity was examined at the level of Mars, Moon and the less, to determine the threshold level of gravity for bee flying maneuver. Adaptation process of bee flying under different gravity level was evaluated as well by successive documentation of parabolic flight experiment.

  11. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  12. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  13. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-07-14

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic.

  14. Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogilvie, Jane E; Thomson, James D

    2016-06-01

    Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation. PMID:27459775

  15. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.

  16. Towards a sustainable management of bees of the subgenus Osmia (Megachilidae; Osmia) as fruit tree pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Sedivy, Claudio; Dorn, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    The limited pollination efficiency of honeybees (Apidae; Apis) for certain crop plants and, more recently, their global decline fostered commercial development of further bee species to complement crop pollination in agricultural systems. In particular, a number of mason bees (Megachilidae; Osmia) are among the most widely used alternative pollinators, and their utilisation has been fine-tuned specifically for pollination in fruit tree orchards. A successful management system should not only ...

  17. Selenium toxicity to honey bee (Apis mellifera L. pollinators: effects on behaviors and survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen R Hladun

    Full Text Available We know very little about how soil-borne pollutants such as selenium (Se can impact pollinators, even though Se has contaminated soils and plants in areas where insect pollination can be critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems. Se can be biotransferred throughout the food web, but few studies have examined its effects on the insects that feed on Se-accumulating plants, particularly pollinators. In laboratory bioassays, we used proboscis extension reflex (PER and taste perception to determine if the presence of Se affected the gustatory response of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae foragers. Antennae and proboscises were stimulated with both organic (selenomethionine and inorganic (selenate forms of Se that commonly occur in Se-accumulating plants. Methionine was also tested. Each compound was dissolved in 1 M sucrose at 5 concentrations, with sucrose alone as a control. Antennal stimulation with selenomethionine and methionine reduced PER at higher concentrations. Selenate did not reduce gustatory behaviors. Two hours after being fed the treatments, bees were tested for sucrose response threshold. Bees fed selenate responded less to sucrose stimulation. Mortality was higher in bees chronically dosed with selenate compared with a single dose. Selenomethionine did not increase mortality except at the highest concentration. Methionine did not significantly impact survival. Our study has shown that bees fed selenate were less responsive to sucrose, which may lead to a reduction in incoming floral resources needed to support coworkers and larvae in the field. If honey bees forage on nectar containing Se (particularly selenate, reductions in population numbers may occur due to direct toxicity. Given that honey bees are willing to consume food resources containing Se and may not avoid Se compounds in the plant tissues on which they are foraging, they may suffer similar adverse effects as seen in other

  18. Application of Asiatic Honey Bees (Apis cerana and Stingless Bees (Trigona laeviceps as Pollinator Agents of Hot Pepper (Capsicum annuum L. at Local Indonesia Farm System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramadhani Eka Putra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In Indonesia, hot pepper (Capsicum annuum is one of the most important spices. Despite the fact that high yield cultivars and fertilizers have been applied to increase the annual production of this spice, local farming is always unable to maintain constant production. Studies to find the explanation of this problem mostly focused on pest attack while possibility of low fruit production due to lack of pollination was neglected. In this study, the effect of pollinator visitation to fruit set and quality was assessed by application of two local domesticated honey bees, Asiatic honey bees (Apis cerana and stingless bees (Trigona laeviceps as potential pollinator agents at hot pepper plantation. This study found that both bees had similar visitation rate while A. cerana spend less time in flowers. Visitation by A. cerana and Trigona laeviceps improved fruit set, fruit production per plant, average fruit weight, and fruit size. This result confirms the importance of cross pollination for hot pepper production and both species could be used as pollination agent for hot pepper. Advantages and disadvantages for each species as pollination agent for local Indonesia farm system are discussed in this paper.

  19. Honey bees are essential for pollination of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (Sapotaceae) in Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Lompo, Djingdia;

    2016-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica......) was important for pollination and thereby the production of fruits and seeds. Smaller insects, mainly species of stingless bees (Hypotrigona spp. and Liotrigona cf. bottegoi) and solitary bees (Compsomelissa borneri) could partly compensate pollination in absence of honey bees, but fertilisation and fruit yield...... was reduced. A positive correlation between fertilisation percentage and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 and 1000 m was observed. The percentage of fertilisation and number of mature fruits per fascicle were higher in trees with colonies of stingless bees in the trunk when honey bees were...

  20. Honey bees are essential for pollination of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (Sapotaceae) in Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Dupont, Yoko Luise;

    2016-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica......) was important for pollination and thereby the production of fruits and seeds. Smaller insects, mainly species of stingless bees (Hypotrigona spp. and Liotrigona cf. bottegoi) and solitary bees (Compsomelissa borneri) could partly compensate pollination in absence of honey bees, but fertilisation and fruit yield...... was reduced. A positive correlation between fertilisation percentage and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 m and 1,000 m was observed. The percentage of fertilisation and number of mature fruits per fascicle were higher in trees with colonies of stingless bees in the trunk when honey bees were...

  1. Does the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus increase pollinator visitation to a native herb through effects on pollinator population sizes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsson, Anna; Padrón, Benigno

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants may compete with native species for abiotic factors as light, space and nutrients, and have also been shown to affect native pollination interactions. Studies have mainly focused on how invasive plants affect pollinator behaviour, i.e. attraction of pollinators to or away from native flowers. However, when an invasive plant provides resources utilized by native pollinators this could increase pollinator population sizes and thereby pollination success in natives. Effects mediated through changes in pollinator population sizes have been largely ignored in previous studies, and the dominance of negative interactions suggested by meta-analyses may therefore be biased. We investigated the impact of the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus on pollination in the native Lotus corniculatus using a study design comparing invaded and uninvaded sites before and after the flowering period of the invasive. We monitored wild bee abundance in transects, and visit rate and seed production of potted Lotus plants. Bumblebee abundance increased 3.9 times in invaded sites during the study period, whereas it was unaltered in uninvaded sites. Total visit rate per Lotus plant increased 2.1 times in invaded sites and decreased 4.4 times in uninvaded sites. No corresponding change in seed production of Lotus was found. The increase in visit rate to Lotus was driven by an increase in solitary bee visitation, whereas mainly bumblebees were observed to visit the invasive Lupinus. The mechanism by which the invasive increases pollinator visit rates to Lotus could be increased availability of other flower resources for solitary bees when bumblebees forage on Lupinus.

  2. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  3. IMPACT OF HONEY BEE POLLINATION ON POD SET OF MUSTARD (BRASSICA JUNCEA L.: CRUCIFERAE AT PANTNAGAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIMLA GOSWAMI

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The diversity and abundance of different insect visitors on mustard (Brassica juncea were studied at Pantnagar. A total of 19 insect visitors belonging to order Hymenoptera (15 and Diptera (4 were found to visit the mustard blossoms at Pantnagar. The abundance (percentage of insect/m2/2min. of Hymenopterans were maximum followed by the Dipterans and others. In Hymenopterans, the honeybees (Apis bees were observed maximum followed by non Apis bees and the scolid wasp. Insect pollinations increased the number of pods and percent pod set.

  4. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Kleijn, David; Scheper, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Wild andmanaged bees arewell documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change.

  5. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  6. Modification of a Community Garden to Attract Native Bee Pollinators in Urban San Luis Obispo, California

    OpenAIRE

    Thorp, Robbin W.; Gordon W. Frankie; Jaime Pawelek; Maggie Przybylski

    2009-01-01

    Gardens have become increasingly important places for growing nutritional food, for conserving biodiversity, for biological and ecological research and education, and for community gathering. Gardens can also be designed with the goal of attracting specific wildlife, like birds and butterflies, but pollinators, like bees, can also be drawn to specially planned and modified gardens. A community garden in San Luis Obispo, California provided the setting for modification with the goal of attract...

  7. Gloss, colour and grip: multifunctional epidermal cell shapes in bee- and bird-pollinated flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Junker, Robert R; Lunau, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Flowers bear the function of filters supporting the attraction of pollinators as well as the deterrence of floral antagonists. The effect of epidermal cell shape on the visual display and tactile properties of flowers has been evaluated only recently. In this study we quantitatively measured epidermal cell shape, gloss and spectral reflectance of flowers pollinated by either bees or birds testing three hypotheses: The first two hypotheses imply that bee-pollinated flowers might benefit from rough surfaces on visually-active parts produced by conical epidermal cells, as they may enhance the colour signal of flowers as well as the grip on flowers for bees. In contrast, bird-pollinated flowers might benefit from flat surfaces produced by flat epidermal cells, by avoiding frequent visitation from non-pollinating bees due to a reduced colour signal, as birds do not rely on specific colour parameters while foraging. Moreover, flat petal surfaces in bird-pollinated flowers may hamper grip for bees that do not touch anthers and stigmas while consuming nectar and thus, are considered as nectar thieves. Beside this, the third hypothesis implies that those flower parts which are vulnerable to nectar robbing of bee- as well as bird-pollinated flowers benefit from flat epidermal cells, hampering grip for nectar robbing bees. Our comparative data show in fact that conical epidermal cells are restricted to visually-active parts of bee-pollinated flowers, whereas robbing-sensitive parts of bee-pollinated as well as the entire floral surface of bird-pollinated flowers possess on average flat epidermal cells. However, direct correlations between epidermal cell shape and colour parameters have not been found. Our results together with published experimental studies show that epidermal cell shape as a largely neglected flower trait might act as an important feature in pollinator attraction and avoidance of antagonists, and thus may contribute to the partitioning of flower

  8. Pollination of Saguaro Cactus by Doves, Nectar-Feeding Bats, and Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcorn, S M; McGregor, S E; Olin, G

    1961-05-19

    In a large cage, free-flying western white-winged doves, nectar-feeding Leptonycteris bats, and honey bees were each effective as cross-pollinators of self-sterile saguaro flowers. Seed production and seed viability were not significantly different in fruit from flowers pollinated by these agents. Pollination is not a limiting factor in saguaro repopulation. PMID:17781127

  9. Alfalfa leafcutting bee population dynamics, flower availability, and pollination rates in two Oregon alfalfa fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P

    2005-08-01

    Since the 1970s, it has become increasingly difficult for U.S. alfalfa seed producers to maintain Megachile rotundata (F.) populations used for alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., pollination. In 1998, we monitored M. rotundata population dynamics and foraging behavior, as well as alfalfa bloom and pollination rates in two fields in eastern Oregon. Despite marked differences in bee management, establishment was very similar in the two fields (approximately 0.5 females per nesting cavity) and lagged peak bloom by approximately 2 wk. Pollination rates increased from 0-10% in the first 3 wk to 80-90% in week 4-5. By then, M. rotundata females had difficulty finding untripped (nonpollinated) flowers and visited large numbers of already tripped or not fully matured flowers. M. rotundata progeny mortality was very high (54-78%). Estimated seed yields were similar in both fields. We contend similar seed yields, and improved bee production, could be accomplished with smaller bee populations, better timed with alfalfa bloom. PMID:16156556

  10. Stingless bees, Melipona fasciculata, as efficient pollinators of eggplant (Solanum melongena) in greenhouses

    OpenAIRE

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Hrncir, Michael; Silva, Cláudia; Roldão, Yara; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Detailed studies of the behavior of pollinators allow insights into pollination mechanisms and may indicate which pollinators are more efficient for a particular plant species. Our aim was to evaluate if Melipona fasciculata is an efficient pollinator of eggplant (Solanum melongena L., Solanaceae) in greenhouses. We analyzed (1) the colony foraging pattern of M. fasciculata in greenhouses, (2) the behavior of bees during the visits to flowers, and (3) fruit set and fruit quality after differe...

  11. Two bee-pollinated plant species show higher seed production when grown in gardens compared to arable farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cussans

    Full Text Available Insect pollinator abundance, in particular that of bees, has been shown to be high where there is a super-abundance of floral resources; for example in association with mass-flowering crops and also in gardens where flowering plants are often densely planted. Since land management affects pollinator numbers, it is also likely to affect the resultant pollination of plants growing in these habitats. We hypothesised that the seed or fruit set of two plant species, typically pollinated by bumblebees and/or honeybees might respond in one of two ways: 1 pollination success could be reduced when growing in a floriferous environment, via competition for pollinators, or 2 pollination success could be enhanced because of increased pollinator abundance in the vicinity.We compared the pollination success of experimental plants of Glechoma hederacea L. and Lotus corniculatus L. growing in gardens and arable farmland. On the farms, the plants were placed either next to a mass-flowering crop (oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. or field beans, Vicia faba L. or next to a cereal crop (wheat, Triticum spp.. Seed set of G. hederacea and fruit set of L. corniculatus were significantly higher in gardens compared to arable farmland. There was no significant difference in pollination success of G. hederacea when grown next to different crops, but for L. corniculatus, fruit set was higher in the plants growing next to oilseed rape when the crop was in flower.The results show that pollination services can limit fruit set of wild plants in arable farmland, but there is some evidence that the presence of a flowering crop can facilitate their pollination (depending on species and season. We have also demonstrated that gardens are not only beneficial to pollinators, but also to the process of pollination.

  12. Non-Euglossine bees also function as pollinators of Sinningia species (Gesneriaceae) in southeastern brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    SanMartin-Gajardo, I; Sazima, M

    2004-07-01

    Pollination by male and female Euglossini bees, euglossophily, was suggested for a number of neotropical Gesneriaceae species. Information on bee species other than Euglossini as pollinators of neotropical members of this family is limited, and in the tribe Sinningieae data about bee pollination are still lacking. Here, we report on floral biology and bee pollination of four Sinningia species: S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, S. villosa, and Sinningia "canastrensis". The flower features, such as corolla size, shape, and colour, are very different among the four species, but all conform to the melittophilous syndrome. The average nectar volume and sugar amount is low in S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, and Sinningia "canastrensis", when compared to that of S. villosa, but low nectar amounts is a general feature of Sinningia species. The main pollinators of the four species are: small Tapinotaspidini (Trigonopedia ferruginea) of S. schiffneri, large Bombini (Bombus morio) and large Centridini (Epicharis morio) of S. eumorpha, large Euglossini (Eulaema cingulata and Eufriesea surinamensis) of S. villosa, and large Euglossini (Eufriesea violascens) and Megachilini (Megachile sp.) of Sinningia "canastrensis". Out of the four species, only S. villosa is exclusively Euglossini-pollinated. The marked differences in flower features and nectar production of these Sinningia species may reflect their pollination by distinct groups of bees. These results strengthen the idea of multiple origins for the pollination systems involving bees within this genus, which is highly supported by molecular phylogenetic analyses. PMID:15248134

  13. Comparison of Bee Pollinators of Coffee in Organic and Conventional Farms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca H.N. Karanja

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Kenyan Coffea arabica L. is globally recognised for its high quality and it is used to blend other coffees in the world market. No previous studies in Kenya have identified pollinators of coffee and this necessitated the study. Coffea arabica was thought to be self-pollinated but recent studies have given an indication that it is amphicarpic thus needing pollinator services. This is especially for the self sterile flowers while in self fertile flowers pollination success rate is enhanced. This study assessed the diversity of bee pollinators of coffee in organic and conventional farming system in Kiambu Kenya. Sampling of bees found to evidently carry pollen and interact with anthers was done and these bees were recorded. Sixty three bee species were sampled with organic farm having 60 species and conventional farm 24 species. Bee abundance and diversity between organic and conventional farms differed significantly (t = -2.1227, df = 61, p<0.05. Andrena (sp possibly a new species was collected. Findings from this study revealed that wild bees other than Apis mellifera are important pollinators of coffee. The wild bees were few in numbers and ways of enhancing their populations should be devised.

  14. Profiling crop pollinators: life history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisanty, Gideon; Mandelik, Yael

    2015-04-01

    Wild pollinators, bees in particular, may greatly contribute to crop pollination and provide a safety net against declines in commercial pollinators. However, the identity, life history traits, and environmental sensitivities of main crop pollinator species.have received limited attention. These are crucial for predicting pollination services of different communities and for developing management practices that enhance crop pollinators. We sampled wild bees in three crop systems (almond, confection sunflower, and seed watermelon) in a mosaic Israeli Mediterranean landscape. Bees were sampled in field/orchard edges and interiors, and in seminatural scrub surrounding the fields/orchards. We also analyzed land cover at 50-2500 m radii around fields/orchards. We used this data to distinguish crop from non-crop pollinators based on a set of life history traits (nesting, lecty, sociality, body size) linked to habitat preference and crop visitation. Bee abundance and species richness decreased from the surrounding seminatural habitat to the field/orchard interior, especially across the seminatural habitat-field edge ecotone. Thus, although rich bee communities were found near fields, only small fractions crossed the ecotone and visited crop flowers in substantial numbers. The bee assemblage in agricultural fields/orchards and on crop flowers was dominated by ground-nesting bees of the tribe Halictini, which tend to nest within fields. Bees' habitat preferences were determined mainly by nesting guild, whereas crop visitation was determined mainly by sociality. Lecty and body size also affected both measures. The percentage of surrounding seminatural habitat at 250-2500 m radii had a positive effect on wild bee diversity in field edges, for all bee guilds, while at 50-100 m radii, only aboveground nesters were positively affected. In sum, we found that crop and non-crop pollinators are distinguished by behavioral and morphological traits. Hence, analysis of life

  15. The importance of plant diversity in maintaining the pollinator bee, Eulaema nigrita (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in sweet passion fruit fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Cláudia Inês; Bordon, Natali Gomes; da Rocha Filho, Léo Correia; Garófalo, Carlos Alberto

    2012-12-01

    The euglossine bee Eulaema nigrita plays an important role for the pollination of native and economically important plants, such as the sweet passion-fruit Passiflora alata. E. nigrita uniquely collects the nectar from the flowers of P. alata, nevertheless, it needs to visit other plants to collect pollen, nectar and other resources for its survival. There are two methods to identify the species of plants used by bees in their diet: by direct observation of the bees in the flowers, and through identification of pollen grains present in brood cells, feces, or in the bees' body. In order to identify the other plants that E. nigrita visits, we analyzed samples of pollen grains removed from the bee's body in the course of the flowering period of P. alata. Among our results, the flora visited by E. nigrita comprised 40 species from 32 genera and 19 families, some of them used as a pollen source or just nectar. In spite of being a polyletic species, E. nigrita exhibited preference for some plant species with poricidal anthers. P. alata which has high sugar concentration nectar was the main source of nectar for this bee in the studied area. Nonetheless, the pollinic analysis indicated that others nectariferous plant species are necessary to keep the populations of E. nigrita. Studies such as this one are important since they indicate supplementary pollen-nectar sources which must be used for the conservation of the populations of E. nigrita in crops neighbouring areas. In the absence of pollinators, growers are forced to pay for hand pollination, which increases production costs; keeping pollinators in cultivated areas is still more feasible to ensure sweet passion fruit production. PMID:23342510

  16. Genetic and Fitness Costs of Raising Wild Pollinators in Captivity: Interaction among Species, Subspecies and Populations of orchard Bees Osmia ribifloris and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viable breeding units, which may increase heterozygosity and the proportion of female bees for a population of orchard bees Osmia ribifloris, were indentifyied with PCR-amplified polymorphic mtDNA. Breeding experiments tested the relative fitness of each breeding unit as part of a pollinator managem...

  17. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Debnam, Scott E; Firth, David R

    2015-12-01

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management. PMID:26529030

  18. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J. Bromenshenk

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

  19. Floral scent composition predicts bee pollination system in five butterfly bush (Buddleja, Scrophulariaceae) species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, W-C; Chen, G; Vereecken, N J; Dunn, B L; Ma, Y-P; Sun, W-B

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, plant-pollinator interactions have been interpreted as pollination syndrome. However, the validity of pollination syndrome has been widely doubted in modern studies of pollination ecology. The pollination ecology of five Asian Buddleja species, B. asiatica, B. crispa, B. forrestii, B. macrostachya and B. myriantha, in the Sino-Himalayan region in Asia, flowering in different local seasons, with scented inflorescences were investigated during 2011 and 2012. These five species exhibited diverse floral traits, with narrow and long corolla tubes and concealed nectar. According to their floral morphology, larger bees and Lepidoptera were expected to be the major pollinators. However, field observations showed that only larger bees (honeybee/bumblebee) were the primary pollinators, ranging from 77.95% to 97.90% of total visits. In this study, floral scents of each species were also analysed using coupled gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although the five Buddleja species emitted differentiated floral scent compositions, our results showed that floral scents of the five species are dominated by substances that can serve as attractive signals to bees, including species-specific scent compounds and principal compounds with larger relative amounts. This suggests that floral scent compositions are closely associated with the principal pollinator assemblages in these five species. Therefore, we conclude that floral scent compositions rather than floral morphology traits should be used to interpret plant-pollinator interactions in these Asian Buddleja species.

  20. Potential pollinators of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum (Solanaceae), in open crops and the effect of a solitary bee in fruit set and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, A O R; Bartelli, B F; Nogueira-Ferreira, F H

    2014-06-01

    We identified native bees that are floral visitors and potential pollinators of tomato in Cerrado areas, described the foraging behavior of these species, and verified the influence of the visitation of a solitary bee on the quantity and quality of fruits. Three areas of tomato crops, located in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were sampled between March and November 2012. We collected 185 bees belonging to 13 species. Exomalopsis (Exomalopsis) analis Spinola, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was the most abundant. Ten species performed buzz pollination. Apis mellifera L. 1758 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Paratrigona lineata (Lepeletier, 1836) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) could also act as pollinators. The fruit set and number of seeds obtained from the pollination treatment by E. analis were higher than those in the control group. Our results allowed the identification of potential tomato pollinators in Cerrado areas and also contributed information regarding the impact of a single species (E. analis) on fruit set and quality. Although most of the visiting bees show the ability for tomato pollination, there is an absence of adequate management techniques, and its usage is difficult with the aim of increasing the crop production, which is the case for E. analis. Species such as Melipona quinquefasciata, P. lineata, and A. mellifera, which are easy to handle, are not used for pollination services. Finally, it is suggested that a combination of different bee species that are able to pollinate the tomato is necessary to prevent the super-exploitation of only a single species for pollination services and to guarantee the occurrence of potential pollinators in the crop area.

  1. Potential pollinators of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum (Solanaceae), in open crops and the effect of a solitary bee in fruit set and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, A O R; Bartelli, B F; Nogueira-Ferreira, F H

    2014-06-01

    We identified native bees that are floral visitors and potential pollinators of tomato in Cerrado areas, described the foraging behavior of these species, and verified the influence of the visitation of a solitary bee on the quantity and quality of fruits. Three areas of tomato crops, located in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were sampled between March and November 2012. We collected 185 bees belonging to 13 species. Exomalopsis (Exomalopsis) analis Spinola, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was the most abundant. Ten species performed buzz pollination. Apis mellifera L. 1758 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Paratrigona lineata (Lepeletier, 1836) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) could also act as pollinators. The fruit set and number of seeds obtained from the pollination treatment by E. analis were higher than those in the control group. Our results allowed the identification of potential tomato pollinators in Cerrado areas and also contributed information regarding the impact of a single species (E. analis) on fruit set and quality. Although most of the visiting bees show the ability for tomato pollination, there is an absence of adequate management techniques, and its usage is difficult with the aim of increasing the crop production, which is the case for E. analis. Species such as Melipona quinquefasciata, P. lineata, and A. mellifera, which are easy to handle, are not used for pollination services. Finally, it is suggested that a combination of different bee species that are able to pollinate the tomato is necessary to prevent the super-exploitation of only a single species for pollination services and to guarantee the occurrence of potential pollinators in the crop area. PMID:25026657

  2. Bees, birds and yellow flowers: pollinator-dependent convergent evolution of UV patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, S; Junker, R R; Alves-Dos-Santos, I; Melo, G A R; Amaral-Neto, L P; Sazima, M; Wolowski, M; Freitas, L; Lunau, K

    2016-01-01

    Colour is one of the most obvious advertisements of flowers, and occurs in a huge diversity among the angiosperms. Flower colour is responsible for attraction from a distance, whereas contrasting colour patterns within flowers aid orientation of flower visitors after approaching the flowers. Due to the striking differences in colour vision systems and neural processing across animal taxa, flower colours evoke specific behavioural responses by different flower visitors. We tested whether and how yellow flowers differ in their spectral reflectance depending on the main pollinator. We focused on bees and birds and examined whether the presence or absence of the widespread UV reflectance pattern of yellow flowers predicts the main pollinator. Most bee-pollinated flowers displayed a pattern with UV-absorbing centres and UV-reflecting peripheries, whereas the majority of bird-pollinated flowers are entirely UV- absorbing. In choice experiments we found that bees did not show consistent preferences for any colour or pattern types. However, all tested bee species made their first antennal contact preferably at the UV-absorbing area of the artificial flower, irrespective of its spatial position within the flower. The appearance of UV patterns within flowers is the main difference in spectral reflectance between yellow bee- and bird-pollinated flowers, and affects the foraging behaviour of flower visitors. The results support the hypothesis that flower colours and the visual capabilities of their efficient pollinators are adapted to each other.

  3. Evaluation of native bees as pollinators of cucurbit crops under floating row covers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minter, Logan M; Bessin, Ricardo T

    2014-10-01

    Production of cucurbit crops presents growers with numerous challenges. Several severe pests and diseases can be managed through the use of rotation, trap cropping, mechanical barriers, such as row covers, and chemical applications. However, considerations must also be made for pollinating insects, as adequate pollination affects the quantity and quality of fruit. Insecticides may negatively affect pollinators; a concern enhanced in recent years due to losses in managed Apis melifera L. colonies. Row covers can be used in place of chemical control before pollination, but when removed, pests have access to fields along with the pollinators. If pollination services of native bees could be harnessed for use under continuous row covers, both concerns could be balanced for growers. The potential of two bee species which specialize on cucurbit flowers, Peponapis pruinosa Say and Xenoglossa strenua Cresson, were assessed under continuous row covers, employed over acorn squash. Experimental treatments included plots with either naturally or artificially introduced bees under row covers and control plots with row covers either permanently removed at crop flowering, or employed continuously with no added pollinating insects. Pests in plots with permanently removed row covers were managed using standard practices used in certified organic production. Marketable yields from plots inoculated with bees were indistinguishable from those produced under standard practices, indicating this system would provide adequate yields to growers without time and monetary inputs of insecticide applications. Additionally, application of this technique was investigated for muskmelon production and discussed along with considerations for farm management. PMID:25199100

  4. Bumble bees (Bombus spp along a gradient of increasing urbanization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Ahrné

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bumble bees and other wild bees are important pollinators of wild flowers and several cultivated crop plants, and have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. The main cause of the decline is believed to be habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. Urbanization is a process that involves dramatic and persistent changes of the landscape, increasing the amount of built-up areas while decreasing the amount of green areas. However, urban green areas can also provide suitable alternative habitats for wild bees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied bumble bees in allotment gardens, i.e. intensively managed flower rich green areas, along a gradient of urbanization from the inner city of Stockholm towards more rural (periurban areas. Keeping habitat quality similar along the urbanization gradient allowed us to separate the effect of landscape change (e.g. proportion impervious surface from variation in habitat quality. Bumble bee diversity (after rarefaction to 25 individuals decreased with increasing urbanization, from around eight species on sites in more rural areas to between five and six species in urban allotment gardens. Bumble bee abundance and species composition were most affected by qualities related to the management of the allotment areas, such as local flower abundance. The variability in bumble bee visits between allotment gardens was higher in an urban than in a periurban context, particularly among small and long-tongued bumble bee species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that allotment gardens and other urban green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural habitats for many bumble bee species, but that the surrounding urban landscape influences how many species that will be present. The higher variability in abundance of certain species in the most urban areas may indicate a weaker reliability of the ecosystem

  5. 蜜蜂为大棚香瓜授粉试验报告%Study on the Bees of the pollination for polytunnel greenhouse Melon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    闫德斌; 牛庆生; 常志光; 高启臣; 薛运波

    2012-01-01

    In northern China, the of-season fruits and vegeta- bles planted area increased year by year, the vast majority of grow- ers are still using hand pollination to improve fruit set. In this study, through the application of bees for polytunnel greenhouse melon bee pollination and hand pollination, test results show that bee pollination district of melons than the hand pollination of melon production increased by 28.2%, no bees, no hand pollination planted in melons no producton. Bee pollination District melons and hand pollination District melons compared to neat bee polli- nation Melon type neatly, size uniformity, sweet taste, advance sale for 7-10 days.%在我国北方,反季节栽种的瓜果蔬菜面积逐年增加,绝大多数种植者仍采用人工授粉方法来提高坐果率。研究通过应用蜜蜂为大棚香瓜授粉与人工授粉进行比较,试验结果表明,蜜蜂授粉区的香瓜比人工授粉区的香瓜产量提高28.2%,无蜂无人工授粉区栽种的香瓜没有产量。蜜蜂授粉区香瓜与人工授粉区香瓜比较,蜜蜂授粉的香瓜瓜型整齐、大小均匀、口感香甜、早上市7~10d。

  6. Pollinators of Richardia grandiflora (Rubiaceae): an Important Ruderal Species for Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, R M; Martins, C F

    2015-02-01

    Ruderal species may provide pollen and nectar to maintain the pollinators of crops in periods of floral resource shortage. The knowledge about the floral biology of these plant species and their interaction with insects is important for management strategies of agricultural systems. The study was carried out at an experimental research station in two different periods (August 2010-April 2011 and August 2012-January 2013). Floral biology was studied, and the reproductive system and reproductive efficacy (RE) were analyzed using controlled pollination experiments. Furthermore, floral visitors and pollination were identified and quantified. Reproductive success obtained in the open pollination and cross-pollination experiments was higher than those obtained in spontaneous self, hand self, and wind pollination. Richardia grandiflora bloomed throughout the experimental period, and flowers were visited by Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, which were observed foraging for pollen and/or nectar. Among the floral visitors, bees were the richest and most frequent group and often contacted anthers and stigmas during visits. Africanized honeybees touched the floral reproductive structures in all visits, and their frequency may be related to changes in the reproductive efficacy between the study periods. Pollinator species of crops cultivated at the experimental research station were frequent bee visitors of R. grandiflora. We demonstrated that R. grandiflora requires cross-pollination and biotic pollen vectors. Among floral visitors, bees are the main pollinators, especially the Africanized honeybees. R. grandiflora can be considered an important ruderal species for maintaining bee pollinator populations at the study site, providing resources during the period that crops are not blooming. PMID:26013009

  7. The Role of Bee Pollinators in Improving Berry Weight and Coffee Cup Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca H.N. Karanja

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted at Kiambu County in Kenya. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pollination improves the coffee yield and quality of processed coffee in terms of taste and aroma. Among the parameters evaluated when grading coffee for sale in world market are berry weight and cup quality. No previous work in Kenya describes the role of bee pollinators in enhancement of coffee yields and quality. Data on berry weights and the resulting processed coffee quality from different pollination levels in organically grown coffee were analyzed. Results from this study indicate that coffee benefits immensely from pollinators. The highest berry weight and coffee cup quality were recorded in open pollinated and cross pollinated coffee. There were significant differences in weight and cup quality (p<0.001 between open pollinated coffee and wind pollination, self pollination and autogamy. The study concludes that pollination not only improves the coffee yields but also enhance the coffee cup taste and aroma. High quality coffee fetches higher prices in the world coffee market.

  8. Global honey bee colony disorders and other threats to insect pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Kluser, Stéphane; Neumann, Peter; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Peduzzi, Pascal; Witt, Ron; Fernandez, Norberto; Theuri, Mwangi

    2010-01-01

    Current evidence demonstrates that a sixth major extinction of biological diversity event is underway.1. The Earth is losing between one and ten percent of biodiversity per decade2, mostly due to habitat loss, pest invasion, pollution, over-harvesting and disease3. Certain natural ecosystem services are vital for human societies. Many fruit, nut, vegetable, legume, and seed crops depend on pollination. Pollination services are provided both by wild, free-living organisms (mainly bees, but als...

  9. The Role of Bee Pollinators in Improving Berry Weight and Coffee Cup Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Rebecca H.N. Karanja; Njoroge, Grace N; John M. Kihoro; Mary W. Gikungu; L.E. Newton

    2013-01-01

    The study was conducted at Kiambu County in Kenya. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pollination improves the coffee yield and quality of processed coffee in terms of taste and aroma. Among the parameters evaluated when grading coffee for sale in world market are berry weight and cup quality. No previous work in Kenya describes the role of bee pollinators in enhancement of coffee yields and quality. Data on berry weights and the resulting processed coffee quality from different...

  10. FLORAL VISITORS IN SALVIA RHOMBIFOLIA RUIZ & PAVON (LAMIACEAE IN LIMA, PERU: A BEE-POLLINATED SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianka Cairampoma

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We study the mechanisms, rates and agents involved in pollination and subsequent reproduction of Salvia rhombifolia. It characterized its floral visitors by recorded their visit frequency, also wemeasured its reproductive success by the percentage of seed production. Four bee species, one dipterous species and two hummingbird species were seen visiting flowers. Due hummingbirds were not actively carry pollen during their visits, they were classified as opportunistic; on the other hand, three bee species were principal pollinators because they carry and actively transfer pollen among S. rhombifolia flowers.

  11. Pollinating bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) of U.S. alfalfa compared for rates of pod and seed set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cane, James H

    2002-02-01

    Alfalfa (=lucerne) flowers require visiting bees to trip the sexual column, thereby providing pollination and subsequent pod and seed set. Previous studies have compared the pollination values of different bee species solely by the speed with which they handle flowers and the proportion of visited flowers tripped. In this greenhouse study, five species of bees, including the three commercially managed U.S alfalfa pollinators, are likewise compared for their floral tripping frequencies. These bee species are also compared for the pod set and mature seed that results from their single visits to virgin flowers. Regardless of the identity of the pollinating bee, tripped flowers had the same probabilities of pod set and seed set. Thus, differences in the single-visit pollination efficiencies of the various bee species are entirely attributable to the proportion of visited flowers that they trip. Females of the alkali bee, Nomia melanderi Cockerell, and the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F, tripped 81 and 78% of visited flowers, respectively. Males of these species are significantly less effective (61 and 51%, respectively), but still significantly superior to the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (22% of visited flowers tripped). These relationships are supported by field data for tripping frequencies. One candidate pollinator, Osmia sanrafaelae Parker, shows promise (44% tripped), but not the congeneric O. aglaia Sandhouse (13% tripped). PMID:11942760

  12. Floral biology of two Vanilloideae (Orchidaceae) primarily adapted to pollination by euglossine bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pansarin, E R; Pansarin, L M

    2014-11-01

    Vanilloideae comprises 15 genera distributed worldwide, among which are Vanilla and Epistephium (tribe Vanilleae). Based on field and laboratory investigations, the pollination biology of V. dubia and E. sclerophyllum was analysed. The former was surveyed in a semi-deciduous mesophytic forest at the biological reserve of Serra do Japi and in a marshy forest at the city of Pradópolis, southeastern Brazil. The latter was examined in rocky outcrop vegetation in the Chapada Diamantina, northeastern Brazil. In the studied populations, the tubular flowers of V. dubia and E. sclerophyllum were pollinated by bees. Pollen was deposited on either their scutellum (V. dubia) or scutum (E. sclerophyllum). The mentum region of V. dubia is dry, whereas that of E. sclerophyllum presents a small quantity of dilute nectar. Flowers of E. sclerophyllum are scentless, while those of V. dubia are odoriferous. Although V. dubia is self-compatible, it needs a pollinator to produce fruit. In contrast, E. sclerophyllum sets fruit through spontaneous self-pollination, but biotic pollination also occurs. Both species are primarily adapted to pollination by euglossine bees. Pollination by Euglossina seems to have occurred at least twice during the evolution of Vanilleae. Furthermore, shifts between rewarding and reward-free flowers and between autogamous and allogamous species have been reported among vanillas.

  13. Does pathogen spillover from commercially reared bumble bees threaten wild pollinators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Otterstatter

    Full Text Available The conservation of insect pollinators is drawing attention because of reported declines in bee species and the 'ecosystem services' they provide. This issue has been brought to a head by recent devastating losses of honey bees throughout North America (so called, 'Colony Collapse Disorder'; yet, we still have little understanding of the cause(s of bee declines. Wild bumble bees (Bombus spp. have also suffered serious declines and circumstantial evidence suggests that pathogen 'spillover' from commercially reared bumble bees, which are used extensively to pollinate greenhouse crops, is a possible cause. We constructed a spatially explicit model of pathogen spillover in bumble bees and, using laboratory experiments and the literature, estimated parameter values for the spillover of Crithidia bombi, a destructive pathogen commonly found in commercial Bombus. We also monitored wild bumble bee populations near greenhouses for evidence of pathogen spillover, and compared the fit of our model to patterns of C. bombi infection observed in the field. Our model predicts that, during the first three months of spillover, transmission from commercial hives would infect up to 20% of wild bumble bees within 2 km of the greenhouse. However, a travelling wave of disease is predicted to form suddenly, infecting up to 35-100% of wild Bombus, and spread away from the greenhouse at a rate of 2 km/wk. In the field, although we did not observe a large epizootic wave of infection, the prevalences of C. bombi near greenhouses were consistent with our model. Indeed, we found that spillover has allowed C. bombi to invade several wild bumble bee species near greenhouses. Given the available evidence, it is likely that pathogen spillover from commercial bees is contributing to the ongoing decline of wild Bombus in North America. Improved management of domestic bees, for example by reducing their parasite loads and their overlap with wild congeners, could diminish or even

  14. 'Bee hotels' as tools for native pollinator conservation: a premature verdict?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing 'bee hotels'--also known as nest boxes or trap nests--which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to 'save the bees' often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees.

  15. 'Bee hotels' as tools for native pollinator conservation: a premature verdict?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing 'bee hotels'--also known as nest boxes or trap nests--which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to 'save the bees' often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees. PMID:25785609

  16. Promoting pollinating insects in intensive agricultural matrices: field-scale experimental manipulation of hay-meadow mowing regimes and its effects on bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierrick Buri

    Full Text Available Bees are a key component of biodiversity as they ensure a crucial ecosystem service: pollination. This ecosystem service is nowadays threatened, because bees suffer from agricultural intensification. Yet, bees rarely benefit from the measures established to promote biodiversity in farmland, such as agri-environment schemes (AES. We experimentally tested if the spatio-temporal modification of mowing regimes within extensively managed hay meadows, a widespread AES, can promote bees. We applied a randomized block design, replicated 12 times across the Swiss lowlands, that consisted of three different mowing treatments: 1 first cut not before 15 June (conventional regime for meadows within Swiss AES; 2 first cut not before 15 June, as treatment 1 but with 15% of area left uncut serving as a refuge; 3 first cut not before 15 July. Bees were collected with pan traps, twice during the vegetation season (before and after mowing. Wild bee abundance and species richness significantly increased in meadows where uncut refuges were left, in comparison to meadows without refuges: there was both an immediate (within year and cumulative (from one year to the following positive effect of the uncut refuge treatment. An immediate positive effect of delayed mowing was also evidenced in both wild bees and honey bees. Conventional AES could easily accommodate such a simple management prescription that promotes farmland biodiversity and is likely to enhance pollination services.

  17. Pollination Strategies to Increase Productivity of the African Fruit Trees Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa & Parkia biglobosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie

    significantly more than trees without nests. Furthermore, a relationship between fertilisation percentages and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 m and 1,000 m was found. Parkia biglobosa is known to be pollinated by bats, and the study in The Gambia showed that honey bees were also effective...... ecology of P. biglobosa. In the drier site, the tree density was lower and only few bats were present. Honey bees were found to be the main pollinators, and the pollination by small bees (stingless and solitary bees) resulted in very few pods. In the more humid site, tree density was higher and many bats...

  18. Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing ‘bee hotels’—also known as nest boxes or trap nests—which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to ‘save the bees’ often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees. PMID:25785609

  19. Assessing continental-scale risks for generalist and specialist pollinating bee species under climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Roberts

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Increased risks of extinction to populations of animals and plants under changing climate have now been demonstrated for many taxa. This study assesses the extinction risks to species within an important genus of pollinating bees (Colletes: Apidae by estimating the expected changes in the area and isolation of suitable habitat under predicted climatic condition for 2050. Suitable habitat was defined on the basis of the presence of known forage plants as well as climatic suitability. To investigate whether ecological specialisation was linked to extinction risk we compared three species which were generalist pollen foragers on several plant families with three species which specialised on pollen from a single plant species. Both specialist and generalist species showed an increased risk of extinction with shifting climate, and this was particularly high for the most specialised species (Colletes anchusae and C. wolfi. The forage generalist C. impunctatus, which is associated with Boreo-Alpine environments, is potentially threatened through significant reduction in available climatic niche space. Including the distribution of the principal or sole pollen forage plant, when modelling the distribution of monolectic or narrowly oligolectic species, did not improve the predictive accuracy of our models as the plant species were considerably more widespread than the specialised bees associated with them.

  20. Economic benefit of crop pollination by bees: a case of Kakamega small-holder farming in western Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasina, J M; Mburu, J; Kraemer, M; Holm-Mueller, K

    2009-04-01

    In most developing countries, crop production is by small scale farmers, who mainly produce for their own consumption and the extra for market. Pollination in such systems is unmanaged and is usually incidental, supported by nearby ecosystems. One of the reasons of not managing pollination is the lack of understanding of its economic value. The "public-good" nature of pollination in these systems also discourages individual initiatives intended to conserve pollinators. We evaluate the economic returns from bee pollination in small-holder farming systems. To do this we apply the factor of production method, a form of revealed preferences methods available for valuing ecosystem services. Our analyses show that bee pollination enhances the yield of most crops grown in the farmland and improves immensely the quality of produce. Almost 40% of the annual value of crops under consideration represented the net returns derived from bee pollination. More than 99% of this benefit is attributed to pollination by feral bees. We provide in-depth valuation of pollination service and discuss applicability and limitations of the factor of production method in developing countries. PMID:19449623

  1. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to avocado (Persea americana pollination in southern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesica Perez-Balam

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Although avocado is native to Mexico, there are no comparative measures in this country on the performance of its flower visitors as pollinators. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to the pollination of avocado from tropical Mexico was assessed by comparing abundance, speed of flower visitation, quantity of pollen carried per individual and pollen deposited on virgin flowers after single visits. The values of abundance and frequency of flower visitation with pollen deposition were combined to obtain a measure of pollinator performance (PP. The most abundant insects on avocado were flies (mean ± SE: 15. 2 ± 6.2, followed by honey bees (9.4 ± 6.3 and wasps (4.2 ± 3.1 (ANOVA F = 91.71, d.f. = 2,78; P P P = 0.001, the number of pollen grains deposited on a stigma after a single visit was similar for the three taxa (2-5. There was evidence for a significant and similarly positive PP of both honey bees and flies as avocado pollinators over wasps, given their abundance, potential for pollen transport and deposition of pollen on stigmas.

  2. Bimodal pollination system of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis involving hummingbirds and bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, S; Schmid, V S; Zillikens, A; Harter-Marques, B; Steiner, J

    2011-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of birds and insects as pollinators, we studied the floral biology of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach in the biome of the Atlantic rain forest, southern Brazil. On Santa Catarina Island, flowering extends from mid-September to the end of December, with diurnal anthesis. The reproductive system is obligatory xenogamy, thus pollinator-dependent. Flowers secrete 31.84 μl of nectar per day, with a mean sugar concentration of 23.2%. Highest nectar volume and sugar concentration occur at the beginning of anthesis. Most floral traits are characteristic for ornithophily, and nectar production appears to be adapted to the energy demand of hummingbirds. Continued secretion of the sucrose-dominated nectar attracts and binds visitors to inflorescences, strengthening trapline foraging behaviour. Experiments assessing seed set after single flower visits were performed with the most frequent visitors, revealing the hummingbird Thalurania glaucopis as the most effective pollen vector. In addition, bees are also functional pollinators, as substantiated by their high visitation frequency. We conclude that this pollination system is bimodal. Thus, there is redundancy in the pollination service provided by birds and bees, granting a high probability of successful reproduction in Ae. nudicaulis. PMID:21134086

  3. Analysis of Factors Affecting Use of Bumble Bees for the Pollination in Glasshouse Tomatoes Growing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Yilmaz

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In the study, a binary logit model was employed to determine factors affecting the use of bumble bees for the pollination in glasshouse tomatoes production in Antalya province of Turkey. Tomatoes yield, education level of farmer, experience in greenhouse vegetable production, knowledge level of farmers about bumble bee using, adoption level of new other production technologies, specialization and level of hired labor cost were fitted in the model as explanatory variables. The results indicated that yield, knowledge level of farmers about bumble bee using, adoption level of new production technologies are statistically significant, while other variables are not. In the model, only level of hired labor cost variable is negatively and other variables are positively associated with the probability of bumble bee adoption.

  4. Oil collecting bees and Byrsonima cydoniifolia A. Juss. (Malpighiaceae) interactions: the prevalence of long-distance cross pollination driving reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazan, Morgana S; Bezerra, Antonio Diego M; Freitas, Breno M

    2014-03-01

    Oil-collecting bees are the natural pollinators of oil-flower plants, but little is known about the pollination process and the effectiveness of their pollination service to the reproductive success of their host plants. In species of Byrsonima the reproductive system have been described as auto-compatible or self-incompatible. We studied the reproductive system of Byrsonima cydoniifolia, the fructification by means of short, medium and long-distance cross pollinations, the morphology and floral biology and the pollination interactions with species of oil-collecting bees. By means of controlled pollinations we found self-incompatibility caused by abortion of most self-pollinated flowers and demonstrated that the prevailing cross pollination ensuring the reproductive success of B. cydoniifolia is the long-distance cross pollination and Centridini bees; Epicharis nigrita, particularly, are the pollinators promoting the gene flow between genetically distinct populations.

  5. Developing and establishing bee species as crop pollinators: the example of Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and fruit trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, J; Bosch, J; Kemp, W P

    2002-02-01

    The development of a bee species as a new crop pollinator starts with the identification of a pollination-limited crop production deficit and the selection of one or more candidate pollinator species. The process continues with a series of studies on the developmental biology, pollinating efficacy, nesting behaviour, preference for different nesting substrates, and population dynamics of the candidate pollinator. Parallel studies investigate the biology of parasites, predators and pathogens. The information gained in these studies is combined with information on the reproductive biology of the crop to design a management system. Complete management systems should provide guidelines on rearing and releasing methods, bee densities required for adequate pollination, nesting materials, and control against parasites, predators and pathogens. Management systems should also provide methods to ensure a reliable pollinator supply. Pilot tests on a commercial scale are then conducted to test and eventually refine the management system. The process culminates with the delivery of a viable system to manage and sustain the new pollinator on a commercial scale. The process is illustrated by the development of three mason bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski), O. lignaria Say and O. cornuta (Latreille) as orchard pollinators in Japan, the USA and Europe, respectively. PMID:12020357

  6. FLORAL VISITORS IN SALVIA RHOMBIFOLIA RUIZ & PAVON (LAMIACEAE) IN LIMA, PERU: A BEE-POLLINATED SPECIES

    OpenAIRE

    Lianka Cairampoma; Carlos Martel

    2012-01-01

    We study the mechanisms, rates and agents involved in pollination and subsequent reproduction of Salvia rhombifolia. It characterized its floral visitors by recorded their visit frequency, also wemeasured its reproductive success by the percentage of seed production. Four bee species, one dipterous species and two hummingbird species were seen visiting flowers. Due hummingbirds were not actively carry pollen during their visits, they were classified as opportunistic; on the other hand, three ...

  7. [The pollination of Krameria bahiana B.B. Simpson by bees in the Coastal Sand Plains of Bahia, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenes, Miriam; Lobão, Cybelle da S

    2006-01-01

    The flowers of K. bahiana mainly produce oil as floral resource for their visitors. Oil collecting bees usually show morphological and behavioral adaptation for their collection. This study focused on the analysis of interactions between the flowers of K. bahiana and their visiting bees, aiming for the efficiency of the pollination, in an area of the Coastal Sand Plains of Bahia State, Brazil. From February/2001 to February/2002 and from May to October/2002 observations were accomplished about the phenology and morphology of the plants and the floral visitors' behavior. The flowers of the inflorescences are zigomorphic, small sized, pink and present a pair of petals modified in epithelial elaiophores, which are responsible for the production of oil. These flowers were visited especially by bees of the genus Centris: C. leprieuri Spinola, C. tarsata Smith, C. trigonoides Lepeletier and C. pulchra Moure, Oliveira & Viana. The bees collected only oil in the flowers, by scratching the elaiophores and then transferring it to scopa located on the tibia and basitarsus of the hind legs. During those actions, the bees often contact the reproductive structures of the flowers, resulting in pollination. C. leprieuri was the most frequent bee during this study, thus considered the effective pollinator. Megachile dentipes Vachal also visited the flowers of K. bahiana, collecting only pollen. However, these bees were considered sporadic pollinators because they were not frequent in the flowers of K. bahiana in the months of observation. PMID:17061790

  8. Mapping large-area landscape suitability for honey bees to assess the influence of land-use change on sustainability of national pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa L; Euliss, Ned H; Browning, Zac

    2014-01-01

    Pollination is a critical ecosystem service affected by various drivers of land-use change, such as policies and programs aimed at land resources, market values for crop commodities, local land-management decisions, and shifts in climate. The United States is the world's most active market for pollination services by honey bees, and the Northern Great Plains provide the majority of bee colonies used to meet the Nation's annual pollination needs. Legislation requiring increased production of biofuel crops, increasing commodity prices for crops of little nutritional value for bees in the Northern Great Plains, and reductions in government programs aimed at promoting land conservation are converging to alter the regional landscape in ways that challenge beekeepers to provide adequate numbers of hives for national pollination services. We developed a spatially explicit model that identifies sites with the potential to support large apiaries based on local-scale land-cover requirements for honey bees. We produced maps of potential apiary locations for North Dakota, a leading producer of honey, based on land-cover maps representing (1) an annual time series compiled from existing operational products and (2) a realistic scenario of land change. We found that existing land-cover products lack sufficient local accuracy to monitor actual changes in landscape suitability for honey bees, but our model proved informative for evaluating effects on suitability under scenarios of land change. The scenario we implemented was aligned with current drivers of land-use change in the Northern Great Plains and highlighted the importance of conservation lands in landscapes intensively and extensively managed for crops.

  9. Mapping large-area landscape suitability for honey bees to assess the influence of land-use change on sustainability of national pollination services.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alisa L Gallant

    Full Text Available Pollination is a critical ecosystem service affected by various drivers of land-use change, such as policies and programs aimed at land resources, market values for crop commodities, local land-management decisions, and shifts in climate. The United States is the world's most active market for pollination services by honey bees, and the Northern Great Plains provide the majority of bee colonies used to meet the Nation's annual pollination needs. Legislation requiring increased production of biofuel crops, increasing commodity prices for crops of little nutritional value for bees in the Northern Great Plains, and reductions in government programs aimed at promoting land conservation are converging to alter the regional landscape in ways that challenge beekeepers to provide adequate numbers of hives for national pollination services. We developed a spatially explicit model that identifies sites with the potential to support large apiaries based on local-scale land-cover requirements for honey bees. We produced maps of potential apiary locations for North Dakota, a leading producer of honey, based on land-cover maps representing (1 an annual time series compiled from existing operational products and (2 a realistic scenario of land change. We found that existing land-cover products lack sufficient local accuracy to monitor actual changes in landscape suitability for honey bees, but our model proved informative for evaluating effects on suitability under scenarios of land change. The scenario we implemented was aligned with current drivers of land-use change in the Northern Great Plains and highlighted the importance of conservation lands in landscapes intensively and extensively managed for crops.

  10. The importance of bee pollination of the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus Cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Hansted

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Low fruit set, despite normally-developed flowers, is often a significant contributor to poor yield of the self-fertile sour cherry (Prunus cerasus cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of insect, and particularly, bee pollination on the fruit set of this cultivar, in order to provide orchard management information for both Danish ‘Stevnsbaer’ growers and beekeepers. Visits to cherry flowers by honey bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus species and solitary bees, were recorded during the flowering of ‘Stevnsbaer’ in five separate Danish orchards. The results indicate that there is a significantly higher fruit set on open pollinated branches when compared to caged branches, where bees and other pollinating insects where excluded. The results were qualitatively consistent over three different seasons (2007, 2009 and 2010. A period of prolonged cold, humid weather before and during early flowering probably reduced fruit set significantly in 2010 compared to 2009. Regarding the apparent benefits of bee pollination on fruit set and subsequent implications for yield, we recommend placing honeybees in ‘Stevnsbaer’ orchards during flowering to sustain commercially viable production. Another valuable management strategy would be to improve foraging and nesting conditions to support both honey and wild bees in and around the orchards.

  11. The reproductive ecology of Medicago citrina (Font Quer) Greuter (Leguminosae): a bee-pollinated plant in Mediterranean islands where bees are absent

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Bañón, Celeste; Juan Gallardo, Ana Isabel; Petanidou, Theodora; Marcos García, María Ángeles; Crespo Villalba, Manuel Benito

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive ecology of Medicago citrina was studied in the Columbretes archipelago (Mediterranean Sea), where bees are absent. The flowers were self-compatible, homogamous, nectar producers, depended on large floral visitors for tripping and pollination. Several characteristics of the reproductive biology of M. citrina indicate an adaptation to an isolated environment characterised by scarcity of appropriate pollinators. As a result of this scarcity, fruit and seed set under natural cond...

  12. The role of bee diversity in pollination and fruit set of yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis forma flavicarpa, Passifloraceae) crop in Central Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Yamamoto, Marcela; Silva, Cláudia; Augusto, Solange; Barbosa, Ana; Oliveira, Paulo

    2012-01-01

    Pollination is an important ecosystem service, especially to self-sterile crops as passion fruit, which depends on the large solitary bee for fruit set. We estimated the species richness of pollinators of yellow passion fruit in Central Brazil and examined whether there was any association with crop yield. We recorded 27 bee species on passion fruit flowers in commercial orchards in the region, from 2004 to 2007. Some 17 species were classified as pollinators (12 as effective and 5 as occasio...

  13. Pollination of lark daisy on roadsides declines as traffic speed increases along an Amazonian highway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dargas, J H F; Chaves, S R; Fischer, E

    2016-05-01

    Ecological disturbances caused by roadways have previously been reported, but traffic speed has not been addressed. We investigate effects of traffic speed on pollination of Centratherum punctatum (Asteraceae) along an Amazonian highway roadside. We hypothesised that frequency of flower visitors, duration of single visits and pollen deposition on stigmas will vary negatively as traffic speed increases. After measuring vehicle velocities, we classified three road sections as low-, mid- and high-velocity traffic. The main pollinator bee, Augochlora sp., visited C. punctatum inflorescences with decreasing frequency from low- to high-velocity roadside sections, whereas the nectar thief butterflies did the opposite. Duration of single visits by bees and butterflies was shorter, and arrival of pollen on C. punctatum stigmas was lower, in high- than in low-velocity roadside. Air turbulence due to passing vehicles increases with velocity and disturbed the flower visitors. Overall, results support that traffic velocity negatively affects foraging of flower visitors and the pollination of C. punctatum on roadsides. PMID:26809110

  14. Pollen Bearing Honey Bee Detection in Hive Entrance Video Recorded by Remote Embedded System for Pollination Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babic, Z.; Pilipovic, R.; Risojevic, V.; Mirjanic, G.

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees have crucial role in pollination across the world. This paper presents a simple, non-invasive, system for pollen bearing honey bee detection in surveillance video obtained at the entrance of a hive. The proposed system can be used as a part of a more complex system for tracking and counting of honey bees with remote pollination monitoring as a final goal. The proposed method is executed in real time on embedded systems co-located with a hive. Background subtraction, color segmentation and morphology methods are used for segmentation of honey bees. Classification in two classes, pollen bearing honey bees and honey bees that do not have pollen load, is performed using nearest mean classifier, with a simple descriptor consisting of color variance and eccentricity features. On in-house data set we achieved correct classification rate of 88.7% with 50 training images per class. We show that the obtained classification results are not far behind from the results of state-of-the-art image classification methods. That favors the proposed method, particularly having in mind that real time video transmission to remote high performance computing workstation is still an issue, and transfer of obtained parameters of pollination process is much easier.

  15. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

  16. Bee population returns and cherry yields in an orchard pollinated with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P; Trostle, Glen E

    2006-04-01

    During 1998-2003, we used populations of the solitary bee Osmia lignaria Say to pollinate a commercial sweet cherry orchard in northern Utah. Bee densities released each year ranged from 1290 to 1857 females/ha, with approximately twice as many males. Female progeny produced each year were greater than parental populations released, except in 2003, when nesting was poor due to bird predation. Despite poor weather during bloom, and in contrast to most other local producers, the study orchard produced harvestable crops in 1999 (2,964 kg/ha) and 2001 (3,154 kg/ha). In 1998 and 2000, record yields were obtained (10,625 and 12,096 kg/ha, respectively). Including only those years with harvestable crops, average production was 2.2 times higher in 1998-2003 (when O. lignaria populations were used) compared with 1992-1997 (when 10 Apis mellifera hives were used). This is the first study reporting multiyear cherry yields in an orchard pollinated with O. lignaria in North America. PMID:16686139

  17. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  18. A heterogeneous landscape does not guarantee high crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samnegård, Ulrika; Hambäck, Peter A; Lemessa, Debissa; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Hylander, Kristoffer

    2016-09-14

    The expansion of pollinator-dependent crops, especially in the developing world, together with reports of worldwide pollinator declines, raises concern of possible yield gaps. Farmers directly reliant on pollination services for food supply often live in regions where our knowledge of pollination services is poor. In a manipulative experiment replicated at 23 sites across an Ethiopian agricultural landscape, we found poor pollination services and severe pollen limitation in a common oil crop. With supplementary pollination, the yield increased on average by 91%. Despite the heterogeneous agricultural matrix, we found a low bee abundance, which may explain poor pollination services. The variation in pollen limitation was unrelated to surrounding forest cover, local bee richness and bee abundance. While practices that commonly increase pollinators (restricted pesticide use, flower strips) are an integral part of the landscape, these elements are apparently insufficient. Management to increase pollination services is therefore in need of urgent investigation.

  19. A heterogeneous landscape does not guarantee high crop pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambäck, Peter A.; Lemessa, Debissa; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Hylander, Kristoffer

    2016-01-01

    The expansion of pollinator-dependent crops, especially in the developing world, together with reports of worldwide pollinator declines, raises concern of possible yield gaps. Farmers directly reliant on pollination services for food supply often live in regions where our knowledge of pollination services is poor. In a manipulative experiment replicated at 23 sites across an Ethiopian agricultural landscape, we found poor pollination services and severe pollen limitation in a common oil crop. With supplementary pollination, the yield increased on average by 91%. Despite the heterogeneous agricultural matrix, we found a low bee abundance, which may explain poor pollination services. The variation in pollen limitation was unrelated to surrounding forest cover, local bee richness and bee abundance. While practices that commonly increase pollinators (restricted pesticide use, flower strips) are an integral part of the landscape, these elements are apparently insufficient. Management to increase pollination services is therefore in need of urgent investigation. PMID:27629036

  20. A simple model for pollen-parent fecundity distributions in bee-pollinated forage legume polycrosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riday, Heathcliffe; Smith, Mark A; Peel, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    A simple Weibull distribution based empirical model that predicts pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone has been developed in outbred forage legume species for incorporation into quantitative genetic theory. Random mating or panmixis is a fundamental assumption in quantitative genetic theory. Random mating is sometimes thought to occur in actual fact, although a large body of empirical work shows that this is often not the case in nature. Models have been developed to explain many non-random mating phenomena. This paper measured pollen-parent fecundity distributions among outbred perennial forage legume species [autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), autohexaploid kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), and diploid red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] in ten polycrosses ranging in size (N) from 9 to 94 pollinated with bee pollinators [Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Cr.) and leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata F.)]. A Weibull distribution best fit the observed pollen-parent fecundity distributions. After standardizing data among the 10 polycrosses, a single Weibull distribution-based model was obtained with an R (2) of 0.978. The model is able to predict pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone. The model predicts that the effective polycross size will be approximately 9 % smaller than under random mating (i.e., N e/N ~ 0.91). The model is simple and can easily be incorporated into other models or simulations requiring a pollen-parent fecundity distribution. Further work is needed to determine how widely applicable the model is. PMID:26105686

  1. Blueberry floral attributes that enhance the pollinations efficiency of an oligolectic bee, osmia ribifloris cockerell (megachilidae:apoidea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated relationships between floral morphology of 23 genotypes of southern blueberries and indicators of pollination efficiency (fruit set, fruit abortion, seed number, and berry size) for Osmia ribifloris Cockerell, a manageable solitary bee. Cultivated blueberry taxa had the largest flowers ...

  2. Perfume-collecting male euglossine bees as pollinators of a basal angiosperm: the case of Unonopsis stipitata (Annonaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, H; Dötterl, S; Zimma, B; Ayasse, M; Gottsberger, G

    2009-01-01

    Pollination of Unonopsis stipitata (Annonaceae) by males of two perfume-collecting bees, Euglossa imperialis and Eulaema bombiformis (Euglossini) is described. This is the first detailed account of this pollination mode in a member of a basal angiosperm family. Pollinator behaviour, identification of the odour bouquet and electrophysiological reaction of one of the two pollinators to the odour bouquet were determined. The collected odour is produced by 'osmophores' located adaxially on the petals. Starch and polysaccharides accumulated in petals are metabolized during odour emission. Mainly monoterpenes were detected in the scent samples, among them trans-carvone oxide. This molecule is thought by several authors to be the key attractant for male Eulaema bees and may be pivotal for convergent evolution of the perfume-collecting syndrome among dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants. It is speculated that Unonopsis, which on the basis of molecular age dating is considered a relatively recent genus of the Annonaceae (being 15-30 million years old), has diversified in relation to male euglossine bee pollinators.

  3. Long-term global trends in crop yield and production reveal no current pollination shortage but increasing pollinator dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Cunningham, Saul A; Klein, Alexandra M

    2008-10-28

    There is evidence that pollinators are declining as a result of local and global environmental degradation [1-4]. Because a sizable proportion of the human diet depends directly or indirectly on animal pollination [5], the issue of how decreases in pollinator stocks could affect global crop production is of paramount importance [6-8]. Using the extensive FAO data set [9], we compared 45 year series (1961-2006) in yield, and total production and cultivated area of pollinator-dependent and nondependent crops [5]. We investigated temporal trends separately for the developed and developing world because differences in agricultural intensification, and socioeconomic and environmental conditions might affect yield and pollinators [10-13]. Since 1961, crop yield (Mt/ha) has increased consistently at average annual growth rates of approximately 1.5%. Temporal trends were similar between pollinator-dependent and nondependent crops in both the developed and developing world, thus not supporting the view that pollinator shortages are affecting crop yield at the global scale. We further report, however, that agriculture has become more pollinator dependent because of a disproportionate increase in the area cultivated with pollinator-dependent crops. If the trend toward favoring cultivation of pollinator-dependent crops continues, the need for the service provided by declining pollinators will greatly increase in the near future. PMID:18926704

  4. Plant diversity increases spatio-temporal niche complementarity in plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venjakob, Christine; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Ebeling, Anne; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing biodiversity decline impairs ecosystem processes, including pollination. Flower visitation, an important indicator of pollination services, is influenced by plant species richness. However, the spatio-temporal responses of different pollinator groups to plant species richness have not yet been analyzed experimentally. Here, we used an experimental plant species richness gradient to analyze plant-pollinator interactions with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. We observed four pollinator functional groups (honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies) in experimental plots at three different vegetation strata between sunrise and sunset. Visits were modified by plant species richness interacting with time and space. Furthermore, the complementarity of pollinator functional groups in space and time was stronger in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that high plant diversity should ensure stable pollination services, mediated via spatio-temporal niche complementarity in flower visitation. PMID:27069585

  5. Amino acid and carbohydrate tradeoffs by honey bee nectar foragers and their implications for plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Oxman, Karmi L; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-10-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators, requiring floral pollen and nectar for nutrition. Nectar is rich in sugars, but contains additional nutrients, including amino acids (AAs). We tested the preferences of free-flying foragers between 20 AAs at 0.1% w/w in sucrose solutions in an artificial meadow. We found consistent preferences amongst AAs, with essential AAs preferred over nonessential AAs. The preference of foragers correlated negatively with AA induced deviations in pH values, as compared to the control. Next, we quantified tradeoffs between attractive and deterrent AAs at the expense of carbohydrates in nectar. Bees were attracted by phenylalanine, willing to give up 84units sucrose for 1unit AA. They were deterred by glycine, and adding 100 or more units of sucrose could resolve to offset 1unit AA. In addition, we tested physiological effects of AA nutrition on forager homing performance. In a no-choice context, caged bees showed indifference to 0.1% proline, leucine, glycine or phenylalanine in sucrose solutions. Furthermore, flight tests gave no indication that AA nutrition affected flight capacity directly. In contrast, low carbohydrate nutrition reduced the performance of bees, with important methodological implications for homing studies that evaluate the effect of substances that may affect imbibition of sugar solution. In conclusion, low AA concentrations in nectar relative to pollen suggest a limited role in bee nutrition. Most of the 20 AAs evoked a neutral to a mild deterrent response in bees, thus it seems unlikely that bees respond to AAs in nectar as a cue to assess nutritional quality. Nonetheless, free choice behavior of foraging bees is influenced, for instance by phenylalanine and glycine. Thus, AAs in nectar may affect plant-pollinator interactions and thereby exhibit a selective pressure on the flora in the honey bee habitat. PMID:24952325

  6. Amino acid and carbohydrate tradeoffs by honey bee nectar foragers and their implications for plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Oxman, Karmi L; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-10-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators, requiring floral pollen and nectar for nutrition. Nectar is rich in sugars, but contains additional nutrients, including amino acids (AAs). We tested the preferences of free-flying foragers between 20 AAs at 0.1% w/w in sucrose solutions in an artificial meadow. We found consistent preferences amongst AAs, with essential AAs preferred over nonessential AAs. The preference of foragers correlated negatively with AA induced deviations in pH values, as compared to the control. Next, we quantified tradeoffs between attractive and deterrent AAs at the expense of carbohydrates in nectar. Bees were attracted by phenylalanine, willing to give up 84units sucrose for 1unit AA. They were deterred by glycine, and adding 100 or more units of sucrose could resolve to offset 1unit AA. In addition, we tested physiological effects of AA nutrition on forager homing performance. In a no-choice context, caged bees showed indifference to 0.1% proline, leucine, glycine or phenylalanine in sucrose solutions. Furthermore, flight tests gave no indication that AA nutrition affected flight capacity directly. In contrast, low carbohydrate nutrition reduced the performance of bees, with important methodological implications for homing studies that evaluate the effect of substances that may affect imbibition of sugar solution. In conclusion, low AA concentrations in nectar relative to pollen suggest a limited role in bee nutrition. Most of the 20 AAs evoked a neutral to a mild deterrent response in bees, thus it seems unlikely that bees respond to AAs in nectar as a cue to assess nutritional quality. Nonetheless, free choice behavior of foraging bees is influenced, for instance by phenylalanine and glycine. Thus, AAs in nectar may affect plant-pollinator interactions and thereby exhibit a selective pressure on the flora in the honey bee habitat.

  7. Interrupted incubation and short-term storage of the alfalfa pollinator Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): a potential tool for synchronizing bees with bloom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yocum, George D; Rinehart, Joseph P; West, Mark; Kemp, William P

    2010-04-01

    A useful technique for synchronizing pollinators with the alfalfa, Medicago savita L. (Fabaceae), bloom is to interrupt the late spring incubation of developing bee pupae and pharate adults of Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) with short-term low-temperature storage. However, low-temperature exposure can be stressful depending on the temperature, duration of exposure, and the developmental stage exposed. To evaluate the effect of low-temperature storage after development had already been initiated by exposure to 29 degrees C, three developmental stages (eye pigment pupae, body pigment pupae, and pharate adults ready to emerge) were exposed to 6, 12, or 18 degrees C for durations up to 28 d. The effect of delaying the termination of overwintering storage (6 degrees C) from April to July ("April bees" and "July bees," respectively) also was examined. The following observations were made: (1) All developmental stages of the April bees and July bees examined can be stored without harmful effects, as measured by percentage of survival, for 14 d at 12 degrees C and above. (2) Postponing the termination of overwintering storage at 6 degrees C from April until July significantly decreased the mean number of days to 95% adult emergence in the July ready-to-emerge bees across the three temperatures tested. (3) The increase of overwintering duration also caused a decrease in the postemergence longevity of the ready-to-emerge adults stored at 6 degrees C for 14 d. (4) Of the three storage temperatures examined, 18 degrees C seems to be the optimal storage temperature for short-term storage of developing bees because of their slow but continuing development without increased mortality either during storage or after emergence. PMID:20429433

  8. Honey bee contribution to canola pollination in Southern Brazil Abelhas melíferas na polinização de canola no Sul do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelise de Souza Rosa

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Although canola, (Brassica napus L., is considered a self-pollinating crop, researchers have indicated that crop productivity increases as a result of honey bee Apis mellifera L. pollination. Given this crop's growing importance in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, this work evaluated the increase in pod and seed productivity with respect to interactions with anthophilous insects and manual pollination tests. The visiting frequency of A. mellifera was correlated with the crop's blooming progression, and productivity comparisons were made between plants visited by insects, manually pollinated plants (geitonogamy and xenogamy and plants without pollination induction. Pod set and seed production per plant were determined for each treatment. Among the 8,624 recorded flower-visiting insects, Hymenoptera representatives were the most prevalent (92.3%, among which 99.8% were A. mellifera. The correlation between these bees and blooming progression was positive (r = 0.87; p = 0.002. Pollination induction increased seed productivity from 28.4% (autogamy to 50.4% with insect visitations, as well as to 48.7 (geitonogamy and to 55.1% (xenogamy through manual pollination.A canola (Brassica napus L. é considerada autocompatível, embora pesquisadores indiquem aumento na produtividade da cultura resultante da polinização efetuada por Apis mellifera L.. Considerando-se a crescente importância dessa cultura no Rio Grande do Sul, avaliou-se o incremento da produtividade de síliquas e sementes a partir de interações com insetos antófilos e com testes de polinização manual. A freqüência de visitas de A. mellifera foi relacionada com o desenvolvimento da floração da cultura e a produtividade foi comparada entre plantas visitadas por insetos, polinizadas manualmente (geitonogamia e xenogamia e com ausência de indução de polinização. Em cada tratamento avaliou-se a produtividade de síliquas e de sementes formadas por planta. Dentre os 8.624 insetos

  9. Pollination efficiency and effectiveness or bumble bees and hummingbirds visiting Delphinium nelsonii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waser, Nicholas M.

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available Delphinium nelsonii Greene is a spring-flowering perennial of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Its blue flowers conform to a classical «bee pollination syndrome», but in western Colorado they are visited by hummingbirds (mostly in the first half of the flowering season as well as bumble bee queens (mostly in the second half of the season. Experiments with potted plants showed that a bee deposits about 10 times as much pollen while visiting a flower as does a bird, and causes about la times as many seeds to be set. In contrast, bees and birds appear similar in the «quality» of pollen they deliver, e. g., in its outcrossing distance. At the level of entire pollinator populations, hummingbird visitation rates may be over 10 times as great as those or bumble bees, in part because birds visit flowers more quickly. Thus the two visitor classes should deliver similar pollen quantities overall, which is confirmed by similar pollen loads of flowers early and late in the season, and should contribute about equally to seed set, which is confirmed by several experiments and observations. Exact relative contributions probably depend on pollinator population sizes, which in the case of hummingbirds appear to have varied 2.5 fold across 14 years. The similar contributions or birds and bees lo seed set shows that individual pollination efficiency must be distinguished from population-level effectiveness. and that the «pollination syndrome» of a flower may not indicate present-day effectiveness of its visitors.

    [ca] Delphinium nelsonii Greene és una planta perenne de floració primaveral que creix a les Muntanyes Rocoses de Nordamèrica. Les seves flors blaves s'acorden a la clàssica (síndrome de pol-linització per abellots», però, a l'oest de Colorado, són visitades per colibrís (durant la primera meitat del període de floració així com per reines d'abellots (principalment durant la segona meitat del període. Els

  10. Microbial ecology of the hive and pollination landscape: Bacterial associates from floral nectar, the alimentary tract and stored food of honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nearly all eukaryotes are host to beneficial or benign bacteria in their gut lumen that are either vertically inherited or acquired from the environment. While the core bacteria of the honey bee gut is becoming evident, the influence of the pollination environment on honey bee-associated microbial p...

  11. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  12. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  13. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenghua Xie

    Full Text Available Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L. and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  14. Intended release and actual retention of alfalfa leafcutting bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) for pollination in commercial alfalfa seed fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2013-04-01

    Low, medium, and high stocking densities (15,000; 30,000; and 45,000-50,000 bees per acre, respectively) of Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), the alfalfa leafcutting bee, were released over 4 yr in three research plots of Utah alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. (Fabaceae), planted at seed-production rates. A low percentage of bees (46-79% of released) survived the incubation and field-emergence processes; of those bees, the number of females that established at the nesting sites was 25-100%. Of the three field sites, one site consistently retained more females and produced more completed nests than the other sites, all of which usually had poor female establishment and progeny production. In addition, floral resources were depleted over time, but many flowers remained unvisited over the season. Nest production decreased over time, as numbers of flowers and female bees declined. Significant positive relationships were found between the intended stocking densities and 1) the number of females that actually survived incubation and field emergence and 2) the number of females that established nests. The number of females that established nests was positively affected by the number of females that survived to emerge in the field. The percentage of females that established was not significantly affected by the intended number of released bees, countering a prediction that the release of fewer bees would allow more females to establish nests and achieve high reproductive success. For growers, it may be more frugal to use modest numbers of M. rotundata for pollination, because many of the bees at medium and high stocking densities do not nest in grower-provided bee boards. PMID:23786042

  15. Lack of pollinators limits fruit production in commercial blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Faye E; Winfree, Rachael

    2014-12-01

    Modern agriculture relies on domesticated pollinators such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), and to a lesser extent on native pollinators, for the production of animal-pollinated crops. There is growing concern that pollinator availability may not keep pace with increasing agricultural production. However, whether crop production is in fact pollen-limited at the field scale has rarely been studied. Here, we ask whether commercial highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) production in New Jersey is limited by a lack of pollination even when growers provide honey bees at recommended densities. We studied two varieties of blueberry over 3 yr to determine whether blueberry crop production is pollen-limited and to measure the relative contributions of honey bees and native bees to blueberry pollination. We found two lines of evidence for pollen limitation. First, berries receiving supplemental hand-pollination were generally heavier than berries receiving ambient pollination. Second, mean berry mass increased significantly and nonasymptotically with honey bee flower visitation rate. While honey bees provided 86% of pollination and thus drove the findings reported above, native bees still contributed 14% of total pollination even in our conventionally managed, high-input agricultural system. Honey bees and native bees were also similarly efficient as pollinators on a per-visit basis. Overall, our study shows that pollination can be a limiting factor in commercial fruit production. Yields might increase with increased honey bee stocking rates and improved dispersal of hives within crop fields, and with habitat restoration to increase pollination provided by native bees. PMID:25313694

  16. Tracking Climate Effects on Plant-Pollinator Interaction Phenology with Satellites and Honey Bee Hives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, Wayne E.; Nickeson, Jaime E.; Tan, Bin; Ma, Peter L.; Nightingale, Joanne M.; Wolfe, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    Background/Question/Methods: The complexity of plant-pollinator interactions, the large number of species involved, and the lack of species response functions present challenges to understanding how these critical interactions may be impacted by climate and land cover change on large scales. Given the importance of this interaction for terrestrial ecosystems, it is desirable to develop new approaches. We monitor the daily weight change of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies to record the phenology of the Honey Bee Nectar Flow (HBNF) in a volunteer network (honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov). The records document the successful interaction of a generalist pollinator with a variety of plant resources. We extract useful HBNF phenology metrics for three seasons. Sites currently exist in 35 states/provinces in North America, with a concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region. HBNF metrics are compared to standard phenology metrics derived from remotely sensed vegetation indices from NASA's MODIS sensor and published results from NOAA's A VHRR. At any given time the percentage of plants producing nectar is usually a sma11 fraction of the total satellite sensor signal. We are interested in determining how well the 'bulk' satellite vegetation parameters relate to the phenology of the HBNF, and how it varies spatially on landscape to continental scales. Results/Conclusions: We found the median and peak seasonal HBNF dates to be robust, with variation between replicate scale hives of only a few days. We developed quality assessment protocols to identify abnormal colony artifacts. Temporally, the peak and median of the HBNF in the Mid-Atlantic show a significant advance of 0.58 d/y beginning about 1970, very similar to that observed by the A VHRR since 1982 (0.57 d/y). Spatially, the HBNF metrics are highly correlated with elevation and winter minimum temperature distribution, and exhibit significant but regionally coherent inter-annual variation. The relationship between median of the

  17. Effectiveness of managed populations of wild and honey bees as supplemental pollinators of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) under different climatic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansted, Lise; Grout, Brian William Wilson; Toldam-Andersen, Torben Bo;

    2015-01-01

    Managed populations of Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Osmia have been investigated rufa as sour cherry pollinators in two flowering seasons with different weather patterns. Flight activity of the three bee species during the pollination-receptive period of the cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer......’ was recorded. Also, using insect-proof cages constructed around ‘Stevnsbaer’ trees, fruit set and yield were recorded and compared with self-pollination in the absence of insects and open pollination. When floral development and seasonal conditions are suitable, there is a potential role for introduced Osmia...... rufa and B. terrestris to add to the pollination activity of conventionally employed A. mellifera. However, in a season with a less favourable weather history, and despite comparable activity of the three species during the pollen-receptive period, introduced bees had only a limited effect on fruit set...

  18. Floral divergence, pollinator partitioning and the spatiotemporal pattern of plant-pollinator interactions in three sympatric Adenophora species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang-Qiu; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2013-12-01

    Floral divergence among congeners may relate to differential utilization of pollinators and contribute to reducing overlap in pollination niches. To investigate whether and how floral differences are associated with differential utilization of pollinators in three sympatric Adenophora species, we analyzed floral traits and evaluated the contribution of different visitors to pollination. We compared visitation rates of different pollinator categories in different years and sites. A suite of floral traits differed among the three Adenophora species, suggesting adaptation to diurnal versus nocturnal pollination and an intermediate condition. However, many visitor species were shared among the three plant species, suggesting that floral traits did not rigorously filter visitors. Effective pollinators were large bees and moths. The importance of large bees as pollinators decreased whereas that of moths increased along the gradient from typically bee-pollinated to moth-pollinated flowers. The intermediate species (A. khasiana) differed substantially from the other two species in pollinator species but not in pollinator categories. The principal pollinator category of each species was constant across years and sites except in the intermediate species where it differed between two sites. Overall, the three sympatric species of Adenophora partition pollinators by floral divergence and the principal pollinators coincide with the predictions based on floral syndromes. PMID:23824141

  19. Climate-driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polce, Chiara; Garratt, Michael P; Termansen, Mette; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Challinor, Andrew J; Lappage, Martin G; Boatman, Nigel D; Crowe, Andrew; Endalew, Ayenew Melese; Potts, Simon G; Somerwill, Kate E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2014-09-01

    Understanding how climate change can affect crop-pollinator systems helps predict potential geographical mismatches between a crop and its pollinators, and therefore identify areas vulnerable to loss of pollination services. We examined the distribution of orchard species (apples, pears, plums and other top fruits) and their pollinators in Great Britain, for present and future climatic conditions projected for 2050 under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used a relative index of pollinator availability as a proxy for pollination service. At present, there is a large spatial overlap between orchards and their pollinators, but predictions for 2050 revealed that the most suitable areas for orchards corresponded to low pollinator availability. However, we found that pollinator availability may persist in areas currently used for fruit production, which are predicted to provide suboptimal environmental suitability for orchard species in the future. Our results may be used to identify mitigation options to safeguard orchard production against the risk of pollination failure in Great Britain over the next 50 years; for instance, choosing fruit tree varieties that are adapted to future climatic conditions, or boosting wild pollinators through improving landscape resources. Our approach can be readily applied to other regions and crop systems, and expanded to include different climatic scenarios.

  20. Milkweed: A resource for increasing stink bug parasitism and aiding insect pollinator and monarch butterfly conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    The flowers of milkweed species can produce a rich supply of nectar, and therefore, planting an insecticide-free milkweed habitat in agricultural farmscapes could possibly conserve monarch butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators, as well as enhance parasitism of insect pests. In peanut-cotton...

  1. Decreasing abundance, increasing diversity and changing structure of the wild bee community (Hymenoptera: Anthophila along an urbanization gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Fortel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Wild bees are important pollinators that have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. Habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization are reported as part of the main causes of this decline. Urbanization involves dramatic changes of the landscape, increasing the proportion of impervious surface while decreasing that of green areas. Few studies have investigated the effects of urbanization on bee communities. We assessed changes in the abundance, species richness, and composition of wild bee community along an urbanization gradient. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Over two years and on a monthly basis, bees were sampled with colored pan traps and insect nets at 24 sites located along an urbanization gradient. Landscape structure within three different radii was measured at each study site. We captured 291 wild bee species. The abundance of wild bees was negatively correlated with the proportion of impervious surface, while species richness reached a maximum at an intermediate (50% proportion of impervious surface. The structure of the community changed along the urbanization gradient with more parasitic species in sites with an intermediate proportion of impervious surface. There were also greater numbers of cavity-nesting species and long-tongued species in sites with intermediate or higher proportion of impervious surface. However, urbanization had no effect on the occurrence of species depending on their social behavior or body size. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found nearly a third of the wild bee fauna known from France in our study sites. Indeed, urban areas supported a diverse bee community, but sites with an intermediate level of urbanization were the most speciose ones, including greater proportion of parasitic species. The presence of a diverse array of bee species even in the most urbanized area makes these pollinators worthy of being a flagship group to raise the awareness of urban

  2. Large pollen loads of a South African asclepiad do not interfere with the foraging behaviour or efficiency of pollinating honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombs, G.; Dold, A. P.; Brassine, E. I.; Peter, C. I.

    2012-07-01

    The pollen of asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae) and most orchids (Orchidaceae) are packaged as large aggregations known as pollinaria that are removed as entire units by pollinators. In some instances, individual pollinators may accumulate large loads of these pollinaria. We found that the primary pollinator of Cynanchum ellipticum (Apocynaceae—Asclepiadoideae), the honey bee Apis mellifera, accumulate very large agglomerations of pollinaria on their mouthparts when foraging on this species. We tested whether large pollinarium loads negatively affected the foraging behaviour and foraging efficiency of honey bees by slowing foraging speeds or causing honey bees to visit fewer flowers, and found no evidence to suggest that large pollinarium loads altered foraging behaviour. C. ellipticum displayed consistently high levels of pollination success and pollen transfer efficiency (PTE). This may be a consequence of efficiently loading large numbers of pollinaria onto pollinators even when primary points of attachment on pollinators are already occupied and doing so in a manner that does not impact the foraging behaviour of pollinating insects.

  3. Pollination efficiency of the stingless bee Melipona subnitida on greenhouse sweet pepper Eficiência de polinização da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida na cultura do pimentão em casa de vegetação

    OpenAIRE

    Darci de Oliveira Cruz; Breno Magalhães Freitas; Luis Antônio da Silva; Eva Mônica.Sarmento da Silva; Isac Gabriel Abrahão Bomfim

    2005-01-01

    The present study was carried out in Northeastern Region of Brazil, in order to investigate the use of stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke in the pollination of greenhouse sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Treatments of hand cross-pollination, hand self-pollination, pollination by bees and restricted pollination were performed. Results showed that despite sweet pepper flowers are considered autogamous, this crop benefits from pollination by M. subnitida, producing fruits significantly hea...

  4. Review of Crop Pollination by Honey Bees World-wide%全球农作物蜜蜂授粉概况

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    安建东; 陈文锋

    2011-01-01

    蜜蜂是自然界最主要的授粉昆虫,在保持生物多样性和维持生态系统平衡方面发挥着极为重要的作用,尤其是为农作物授粉,具有重要的经济价值和社会效应.笔者主要从蜜蜂在生态系统中的作用、蜜蜂授粉在全球农业生产中的地位、发达国家或地区蜜蜂授粉概括、世界农作物属性种植变化趋势和世界蜂群数量动态变化等方面阐述了全球农作物蜜蜂授粉现状,并分析了中国农作物蜜蜂授粉的现状、存在问题及应对措施.%Honey bees are among the most important pollinators in natural ecosystems world-wide, playing a major role in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function.Honey bees are also of major economic importance for crop pollination.In this paper, the author reviewed the role of honey bees in ecosystems, the importance of pollination by honey bees in global agricultural production, pollination by honey bees in developed countries, trends in the cultivation of different crops world-wide, and changes in the number of honey bee colonies world-wide.Finally, the author analyzed the current situation, the problems, and some solutions for crop pollination by honey bees in China.

  5. Bees substitute birds in pollination of ornitogamous climber Campsis radicans (L. Seem. in Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona Kołodziejska-Degórska

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Campsis radicans is an attractive climber with typical ornitogamous flowers, native to North America. In natural conditions this out-crossed plant is pollinated mostly by hummingbirds. In Poland, where C. radicans is cultivated as ornamental, it rarely sets seeds. The questions addressed in the present study were: (1 What animals pollinate its flowers in Poland?, and (2 What is the reason for infrequent fruit set? Field studies conducted in five localities in Poland showed that the principal pollinator is Apis mellifera, and the lack of seeds is usually caused by pollinator limitation or absence of genetically different pollen donor plants.

  6. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape. PMID:26650584

  7. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape.

  8. Wild Bee Community Composition and Foraging Behaviour in Commercial Strawberries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrenfeldt, Erica Juel

    The agricultural value of wild bees is their contribution to crop pollination and studies have shown that abundance, species richness and functional diversity of bees can increase yield and quality of flowering crops. Wild bee pollination services thus carry great value regardless of the presence...... of managed honeybees. Among other factors, the functional diversity of wild bees increases with species richness of the bees present and the variation in species body-size. Globally, agricultural intensification with increased field sizes and habitat loss and fragmentation has led to a severe reduction...... in diversity and abundance of wild bees as a result of reduced and scattered food and nesting-resources. Agriculture is the dominant type of land-use in Denmark and 66 % of the Danish landscape is farmland. However, little is known about the diversity of wild bees and associated pollination services in Denmark...

  9. Strong pollinator-mediated selection for increased flower brightness and contrast in a deceptive orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sletvold, Nina; Trunschke, Judith; Smit, Mart; Verbeek, Jeffrey; Ågren, Jon

    2016-03-01

    Contrasting flower color patterns that putatively attract or direct pollinators toward a reward are common among angiosperms. In the deceptive orchid Anacamptis morio, the lower petal, which makes up most of the floral display, has a light central patch with dark markings. Within populations, there is pronounced variation in petal brightness, patch size, amount of dark markings, and contrast between patch and petal margin. We tested whether pollinators mediate selection on these color traits and on morphology (plant height, number of flowers, corolla size, spur length), and whether selection is consistent with facilitated or negative frequency-dependent pollination. Pollinators mediated strong selection for increased petal brightness (Δβpoll = 0.42) and contrast (Δβpoll = 0.51). Pollinators also tended to mediate stabilizing selection on brightness (Δγpoll = -0.27, n.s.) favoring the most common phenotype in the population. Selection for reduced petal brightness among hand-pollinated plants indicated a fitness cost associated with brightness. The results demonstrate that flower color traits influence pollination success and seed production in A. morio, indicating that they affect attractiveness to pollinators, efficiency of pollen transfer, or both. The documented selection is consistent with facilitated pollination and selection for color convergence toward cooccurring rewarding species. PMID:26878831

  10. Pollination deficit in open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., Solanaceae in Rio de Janeiro state, Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Scaramussa Deprá

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available More than 70% of world’s crops benefit from biotic pollination, and bees are their main pollinators. Despite the fact that some of these insects have been broadly studied, understanding the interactions between plant crops and their pollinators with a local scale approach is necessary when aiming to apply proper protective and management measures to pollinators and their respective crops. In this context, we analyzed the pollination status of open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., regarding fruit-set, visitation rate and the quality of fruits. We recorded the formation of fruits through spontaneous self-pollination and open-pollination, and the occurrence of pollinators in 24 areas of open-field tomato crops. We performed experiments of apomixis, spontaneous self-pollination, manual cross pollination and supplemental cross pollination (simulating the pollinator behavior in a greenhouse. The fruit quality was evaluated according to circumference, weight, volume and number of seeds. Higher production of fruits after open-pollination compared to spontaneous self-pollination indicates the importance of pollinators to increment productivity of S. lycopersicum in the study area. The circumference and the number of seeds from tomatoes of the greenhouse plantation did not differ between spontaneous self-pollination and the manual cross pollination. In the open-field crops the number of seeds was higher for fruits resulting from open-pollination. Our results indicate that the importance of bees is mainly related to the increase in fruit production, thus incrementing the productivity of tomato crops.

  11. Pollination deficit in open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., Solanaceae in Rio de Janeiro state, Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Gaglianone

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available More than 70% of world’s crops benefit from biotic pollination, and bees are their main pollinators. Despite the fact that some of these insects have been broadly studied, understanding the interactions between plant crops and their pollinators with a local scale approach is necessary when aiming to apply proper protective and management measures to pollinators and their respective crops. In this context, we analyzed the pollination status of open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., regarding fruit-set, visitation rate and the quality of fruits. We recorded the formation of fruits through spontaneous self-pollination and open-pollination, and the occurrence of pollinators in 24 areas of open-field tomato crops. We performed experiments of apomixis, spontaneous self-pollination, manual cross pollination and supplemental cross pollination (simulating the pollinator behavior in a greenhouse. The fruit quality was evaluated according to circumference, weight, volume and number of seeds. Higher production of fruits after open-pollination compared to spontaneous self-pollination indicates the importance of pollinators to increment productivity of S. lycopersicum in the study area. The circumference and the number of seeds from tomatoes of the greenhouse plantation did not differ between spontaneous self-pollination and the manual cross pollination. In the open-field crops the number of seeds was higher for fruits resulting from open-pollination. Our results indicate that the importance of bees is mainly related to the increase in fruit production, thus incrementing the productivity of tomato crops.

  12. Evaluating pollination deficits in pumpkin production in New York.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, J D; Huseth, A S; Nault, B A

    2014-10-01

    Potential decreases in crop yield from reductions in bee-mediated pollination services threaten food production demands of a growing population. Many fruit and vegetable growers supplement their fields with bee colonies during crop bloom. The extent to which crop production requires supplementary pollination services beyond those provided by wild bees is not well documented. Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., requires bee-mediated pollination for fruit development. Previous research identified the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), as the most efficient pumpkin pollinator. Two concomitant studies were conducted to examine pollination deficits in New York pumpkin fields from 2011 to 2013. In the first study, fruit weight, seed set, and B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers were compared across fields supplemented with B. impatiens colonies at a recommended stocking density of five colonies per hectare, a high density of 15 colonies per hectare, or not supplemented with bees. In the second study, fruit weight and seed set of pumpkins that received supplemental pollen through hand-pollination were compared with those that were open-pollinated by wild bees. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with B. impatiens colonies, regardless of stocking density, did not increase fruit weight, seed set, or B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers. Fruit weight and seed set did not differ between hand- and open-pollinated treatments. In general, we conclude that pumpkin production in central New York is not limited by inadequate pollination services provided by wild bees and that on average, supplementation with B. impatiens colonies did not improve pumpkin yield. PMID:25198126

  13. HONEY BEES–POTENTIAL POLLINATORS IN HYBRID SEED PRODUCTION OF SUNFLOWER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rajasri

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to find out the role of honeybees on pollination, seed setting and seedquality of hybrid sunflower. The foraging behavior of natural bee visitants was studied on the parental lines ofsunflower hybrid NDSH1 during the flowering period. Most predominant bees observed are Rock bees, Apisdorsata, European bee, Apis mellifera,Indian bee, Apis cerana indica and Stingless bees, Trigona irridipenis.Bee visitants are more on R line compared to A line. The seed setting percentage and seed yield weresignificantly increased when the honeybees were supplemented to the open pollination. The yields weredrastically reduced when the crop was covered with insect proof net. In addition, increased seedling vigour,germination%, field emergence, oil content and quality of seed was observed with the deployment of honey beescoupled with supplemental hand pollination.

  14. Evolution of autonomous selfing accompanies increased specialization in the pollination system of Schizanthus (Solanaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Fernanda; Arroyo, Mary T K; Armesto, Juan J

    2009-06-01

    The co-occurrence of elaborate flowers visited by specific groups of pollinators and capacity for autonomous selfing in the same plant species has puzzled evolutionary biologists since the time of Charles Darwin. To examine whether autonomous selfing and floral specialization evolved in association, we quantified the autofertility level (AFI) in nine Schizanthus species characterized by a wide range of pollination specialization, revealing AFI values of 0.02 to complete selfing. An independent contrasts analysis conducted on AFIs and number of functional pollinator groups showed that autonomous selfing evolved from an ancestral outcrossing system as plants became increasingly specialized (r = -0.82). To assess whether autonomous selfing together with specialization acts as a reproductive assurance mechanism, we estimated spatial and interannual variation in fruit set due to pollinator failure in two closely related high Andean Schizanthus species differing in their specialization levels. Variation in pollinator failure rate was more pronounced and autonomous selfing increased fruit production over biotically assisted pollination in the more specialized species. Our study suggests that specialized pollination deems species more vulnerable to pollinator fluctuation thus promoting the evolution of delayed autonomous selfing. PMID:21628267

  15. Nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to resource availability in field enclosures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Bosch, Jordi

    2010-02-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is used to pollinate alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., for seed production in the United States and Canada. It is difficult to reliably sustain commercial M. rotundata populations in the United States because of problems with disease, parasites, predators, and unexplained mortality. One possible explanation for early immature mortality is that, relative to floral availability, superfluous numbers of bees are released in alfalfa fields where resources quickly become limited. Our objective was to determine how M. rotundata density affects bee nesting, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success. Various numbers of bees were released into enclosures on an alfalfa field, but only 10-90% of released female bees established nests. Therefore, a "bee density index" was derived for each enclosure from the number of established females and number of open flowers over time. As the density index increased, significant reductions occurred in the number of pollinated flowers, number of nests, and number of cells produced per bee, as well as the percentage of cells that produced viable prepupae by summer's end and the percentage that produced adult bees. The percentage of cells resulting in early brood mortality (i.e., pollen balls) significantly increased as the density index increased. We conclude that bee nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success are compromised when bee densities are high relative to floral resource availability. Open field studies are needed to determine commercial bee densities that result in sustainable bee populations and adequate pollination for profitable alfalfa seed production. PMID:20146851

  16. Learning Ability and Factors Influencing Nest Establishment of the Solitary Bees Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vorel, Cory A.

    2010-01-01

    Over the last several decades, the use of solitary bees as an alternative to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for pollination of commercial crops has increased, in part as a response to ongoing problems faced by commercial honey bee populations. Two solitary bee species have exhibited great commercial potential: the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria Say, and the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). However, growth of O. lignaria and M. rotundata ...

  17. A Survey of Bee Species Found Pollinating Watermelons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Henne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Using a combination of flower traps and visual observations, we surveyed three watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb. Matsum. & Nakai fields in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to determine what bees inhabit this crop in this region. No managed honey bee (Apis mellifera L. hives were in any of the fields; however, two contained managed hives of the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson. A total of 15 species were collected or observed from all three fields combined. Of these species, only four were found to be very abundant: Agapostemon angelicus Cockerell/texanus Cresson, A. mellifera, Lasioglossum coactum (Cresson, and Melissodes thelypodii Cockerell. Apis mellifera comprised 46% of all bees collected from all three fields combined and was highly abundant in two of the three fields. In the third field, however, A. mellifera and Agapostemon angelicus/texanus were equally abundant. Surprisingly, B. impatiens comprised only 1% of the total bees surveyed in all three fields combined, despite two of the fields having several managed hives each. As B. impatiens is not native to this region, it was not surprising that none were collected or observed in the field with no managed hives.

  18. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant–Pollinator Interplay

    OpenAIRE

    Suso, María J.; Bebeli, Penelope J.; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; NEGRI, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A. A.; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M.

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant–pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles...

  19. Crop domestication facilitated rapid geographic expansion of a specialist pollinator, the squash bee Peponapis pruinosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the past 10,000 years, humans have facilitated rapid range expansions of animal, plants and microorganisms, often accompanying agriculture’s spread. Three squash species were early domesticates in the New World. Their spreading cultivation out of the Southwest across much of today’s USA has bee...

  20. Bee health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecocq, Antoine

    Research relating to the honey bee is inevitably a multi-faceted affair. Its eusocial nature, domestication by man and value in providing crucial ecosystem services are all topics worthy of investigation. The colony losses reported worldwide in the last decade served as a catalyst for more research...... to be aimed at elucidating some of the mysteries surrounding this most studied of insects. As the results of numerous investigations trickled in, scientists around the world started to get a sense of the various threats faced by honey bees while at the same time becoming more aware of the role humans played...... and descriptive work at the colony, smaller social group and individual levels as well as in a greater pollinator context. Its aim is to confirm and deepen our understanding of the biology and life-history of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. In an ever-changing landscape of flower patches and increase...

  1. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollinate Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes in Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared with tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. More than a million colonies are sold worldwide annually to meet pollination needs. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several species native to western North American are currently being investigated as potential commercial pollinators. Here, two western, Bombus huntii Greene and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, and one eastern species, Bombus impatiens Cresson, are compared for their efficacy as pollinators of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. In two experiments, colonies were placed in greenhouses and compared with control plants that received no supplemental pollination. In the first experiment, seed set was significantly increased with B. huntii pollination in one variety of cherry tomatoes. In the second experiment comparing all three bumble bee species, fruit weight was an average of 25.2 g heavier per fruit pollinated by bees versus the control, and the number of days to harvest was 2.9 d shorter for bee-pollinated fruit. In some rounds of pollination, differences were found among bumble bee species, but these were inconsistent across replicates and not statistically significant overall. Additionally, fruit weight was shown to be highly correlated to fruit diameter and seed set in all tests and, thus, is shown to be a reliable metric for assessing pollination in future studies. These results suggest that commercialization of western bumble bees is a viable alternative to the current practices of moving of nonnative bees into western North America to pollinate tomatoes. PMID:26470206

  2. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators

    OpenAIRE

    Ken Tan; Weiwen Chen; Shihao Dong; Xiwen Liu; Yuchong Wang; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 μg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, hon...

  3. Functionality of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when used for western U.S. honey production and almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, Tihomas E; Danka, Robert G; Johnson, Stephanie; Bourgeois, A Lelania; Frake, Amanda M; Villa, José D; De Guzman, Lilia I; Harris, Jeffrey W

    2014-04-01

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees and outcrossed honey bees with Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) were compared with control colonies of Italian honey bees. All colonies were managed without miticide treatments. In total, 185 and 175 colonies were established for trials in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. Survival of colonies with original queens or with supersedure queens was similar among stocks for both years. Colony sizes of the Varroa-resistant stocks were as large as or larger than the control colonies during periods critical to honey production and almond pollination. Honey production varied among stocks. In the first year, all stocks produced similar amounts of honey. In the second year, Russian honey bees colonies produced less honey than the control colonies. V. destructor infestations also varied among stocks. In the first year, control colonies had more infesting mites than either of the Varroa-resistant stocks, especially later in the year. In the second year, the control and outcrossed Varroa-sensitive hygiene colonies had high and damaging levels of infestation while the Russian honey bees colonies maintained lower levels of infestation. Infestations of Acarapis woodi (Rennie) were generally infrequent and low. All the stocks had similarly high Nosema ceranae infections in the spring and following winter of both years. Overall, the two Varroa-resistant stocks functioned adequately in this model beekeeping system. PMID:24772530

  4. Ecological and evolutionary conditions for fruit abortion to regulate pollinating seed-eaters and increase plant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2002-01-01

    Coevolved mutualisms, such as those between senita cacti, yuccas, and their respective obligate pollinators, benefit both species involved in the interaction. However, in these pollination mutualisms the pollinator's larvae impose a cost on plants through consumption of developing seeds and fruit. The effects of pollinators on benefits and costs are expected to vary with the abundance of pollinators, because large population sizes result in more eggs and larval seed-eaters. Here, we develop the hypothesis that fruit abortion, which is common in yucca, senita, and plants in general, could in some cases have the function of limiting pollinator abundance and, thereby, increasing fruit production. Using a general steady-state model of fruit production and pollinator dynamics, we demonstrate that plants involved in pollinating seed-eater mutualisms can increase their fecundity by randomly aborting fruit. We show that the ecological conditions under which fruit abortion can improve plants fecundity are not unusual. They are best met when the plant is long-lived, the population dynamics of the pollinator are much faster than those of the plant, the loss of one fruit via abortion kills a larva that would have the expectation of destroying more than one fruit through its future egg laying as an adult moth, and the effects of fruit abortion on pollinator abundance are spatially localized. We then use the approach of adaptive dynamics to find conditions under which a fruit abortion strategy based on regulating the pollinator population could feasibly evolve in this type of plant–pollinator interaction.

  5. Do native bees have the potential to promote interspecific pollination in introduced Impatiens species?

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    Michael B. Jones

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Artificial introductions of non-native species by humans can remove geographical barriers between species. In the absence of reproductive barriers, closely related introduced taxa may be able to hybridize, resulting in the formation of novel genotypes. These may be more suited to the new environment than either of their parent taxa, and have the potential to become more invasive. We investigated potential reproductive barriers between the non-native invasive Impatiens glandulifera and its less aggressive non-native congener I. balfourii. We examined behaviour of pollinators, including their foraging preferences and whether they switched from one species to the other. Moreover, conspecific and interspecific artificial crosses were performed between these species and seed production and the germination success of hybrid seeds were assessed.Both I. balfourii and I. glandulifera had relatively long flowering periods which mostly overlapped. Insect visitors were observed to switch from flowers of one species to the other during a single foraging bout, confirming that natural pollen transfer between species is possible. Artificial interspecific pollination resulted in the production of seeds, suggesting the presence of incomplete reproductive barriers between the two species. However, hybrid seeds mostly failed to germinate making the production of invasive hybrids unlikely. Nevertheless, because of the prolific reproductive output of these species we would not exclude the possibility that some viable hybrid seeds could be formed and become established. Further investigation of the fitness of hybrid seeds is required as hybridisation may allow Impatiens to exploit different ecological niches.

  6. When bigger is not better: intraspecific competition for pollination increases with population size in invasive milkweeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Megan; Johnson, Steven D; Zalucki, Myron P

    2013-04-01

    One of the essential requirements for an introduced plant species to become invasive is an ability to reproduce outside the native range, particularly when initial populations are small. If a reproductive Allee effect is operating, plants in small populations will have reduced reproductive success relative to plants in larger populations. Alternatively, if plants in small populations experience less competition for pollination than those in large populations, they may actually have higher levels of reproductive success than plants in large populations. To resolve this uncertainty, we investigated how the per capita fecundity of plants was affected by population size in three invasive milkweed species. Field surveys of seed production in natural populations of different sizes but similar densities were conducted for three pollinator-dependent invasive species, namely Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus. Additionally, supplemental hand-pollinations were performed in small and large populations in order to determine whether reproductive output was limited by pollinator activity in these populations. Reproductive Allee effects were not detected in any of the study species. Instead, plants in small populations exhibited remarkably high levels of reproductive output compared to those in large populations. Increased fruit production following supplemental hand-pollinations suggested that the lower reproductive output of naturally pollinated plants in large populations is a consequence of pollen limitation rather than limitation due to abiotic resources. This is consistent with increased intraspecific competition for pollination amongst plants in large populations. It is likely that the invasion of these milkweed species in Australia has been enhanced because plants in small founding populations experience less intraspecific competition for pollinators than those in large populations, and thus have the ability to produce copious amounts of

  7. Microbial ecology of the hive and pollination landscape: bacterial associates from floral nectar, the alimentary tract and stored food of honey bees (Apis mellifera.

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    Kirk E Anderson

    Full Text Available Nearly all eukaryotes are host to beneficial or benign bacteria in their gut lumen, either vertically inherited, or acquired from the environment. While bacteria core to the honey bee gut are becoming evident, the influence of the hive and pollination environment on honey bee microbial health is largely unexplored. Here we compare bacteria from floral nectar in the immediate pollination environment, different segments of the honey bee (Apis mellifera alimentary tract, and food stored in the hive (honey and packed pollen or "beebread". We used cultivation and sequencing to explore bacterial communities in all sample types, coupled with culture-independent analysis of beebread. We compare our results from the alimentary tract with both culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses from previous studies. Culturing the foregut (crop, midgut and hindgut with standard media produced many identical or highly similar 16S rDNA sequences found with 16S rDNA clone libraries and next generation sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. Despite extensive culturing with identical media, our results do not support the core crop bacterial community hypothesized by recent studies. We cultured a wide variety of bacterial strains from 6 of 7 phylogenetic groups considered core to the honey bee hindgut. Our results reveal that many bacteria prevalent in beebread and the crop are also found in floral nectar, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission. From beebread we uncovered a variety of bacterial phylotypes, including many possible pathogens and food spoilage organisms, and potentially beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus kunkeei, Acetobacteraceae and many different groups of Actinobacteria. Contributions of these bacteria to colony health may include general hygiene, fungal and pathogen inhibition and beebread preservation. Our results are important for understanding the contribution to pollinator health of both environmentally vectored and core microbiota

  8. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somme, Laurent; Mayer, Carolin; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape). For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements) and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre). We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees. PMID:24915450

  9. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somme, Laurent; Mayer, Carolin; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape). For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements) and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre). We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees.

  10. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Somme

    Full Text Available Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape. For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre. We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees.

  11. Floral neighborhood influences pollinator assemblages and effective pollination in a native plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2014-10-01

    Pollinators represent an important intermediary by which different plant species can influence each other's reproductive fitness. Floral neighbors can modify the quantity of pollinator visits to a focal species but may also influence the composition of visitor assemblages that plants receive leading to potential changes in the average effectiveness of floral visits. We explored how the heterospecific floral neighborhood (abundance of native and non-native heterospecific plants within 2 m × 2 m) affects pollinator visitation and composition of pollinator assemblages for a native plant, Phacelia parryi. The relative effectiveness of different insect visitors was also assessed to interpret the potential effects on plant fitness of shifts in pollinator assemblage composition. Although the common non-native Brassica nigra did not have a significant effect on overall pollinator visitation rate to P. parryi, the proportion of flower visits that were made by native pollinators increased with increasing abundance of heterospecific plant species in the floral neighborhood other than B. nigra. Furthermore, native pollinators deposited twice as many P. parryi pollen grains per visit as did the nonnative Apis mellifera, and visits by native bees also resulted in more seeds than visits by A. mellifera. These results indicate that the floral neighborhood can influence the composition of pollinator assemblages that visit a native plant and that changes in local flower communities have the potential to affect plant reproductive success through shifts in these assemblages towards less effective pollinators. PMID:25047026

  12. Honey bee attractants and pollination in sweet orange, Citrus sinensis (L. Osbeck, var. Pera-Rio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. T. Malerbo-Souza

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This experiment studied the frequency and behavior of insects on sweet orange flowers, Citrus sinensis (L. Osbeck, their effect on fruit production (quantity and quality, nectar and pollen collection, and the effectiveness of different attractants. Over three consecutive years, the most frequent visitor to the flowers was Apis mellifera (Africanized. Flowers visited less than ten times showed low fructification. Fruit production was 35.30% greater in uncovered flowers. Fruit mean weight was much greater in uncovered (180.2g than in covered flowers (168.5g. Fruits from the covered were more acid (1.411g of citric acid/100ml of juice than the uncovered flowers (1.164g of citric acid/100ml of juice. The number of seeds per bud was higher in the uncovered (1 seed/bud than in the covered treatment (0.8 seed/bud. Bee-HereR, eugenol, geraniol, citral, and lemon grass extract, mainly diluted in water, were effective in attracting honeybees to orchards. However, these compounds were less effective when diluted in sugar syrup. The same products had variable attractiveness to honeybees in different years.

  13. Wild bees and agroecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Morandin, Lora

    2005-01-01

    Research in agriculture often focuses on development of new technologies rather than on potential environmental impacts. Pollinators, primarily bees, are essential to agriculture, providing significant yield benefit in over 66% of crop species. Currently, dramatic losses of managed honey bee pollinators in North America along with suspected world-wide losses of wild pollinators are focusing research attention on an impending but still poorly documented pollination crisis. Essential questions ...

  14. Hedgerows Have a Barrier Effect and Channel Pollinator Movement in the Agricultural Landscape

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    Klaus Felix

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification and the subsequent fragmentation of semi-natural habitats severely restrict pollinator and pollen movement threatening both pollinator and plant species. Linear landscape elements such as hedgerows are planted for agricultural and conservation purposes to increase the resource availability and habitat connectivity supporting populations of beneficial organisms such as pollinators. However, hedgerows may have unexpected effects on plant and pollinator persistence by not just channeling pollinators and pollen along, but also restricting movement across the strip of habitat. Here, we tested how hedgerows influence pollinator movement and pollen flow. We used fluorescent dye particles as pollen analogues to track pollinator movement between potted cornflowers Centaurea cyanus along and across a hedgerow separating two meadows. The deposition of fluorescent dye was significantly higher along the hedgerow than across the hedgerow and into the meadow, despite comparable pollinator abundances. The differences in pollen transfer suggest that hedgerows can affect pollinator and pollen dispersal by channeling their movement and acting as a permeable barrier. We conclude that hedgerows in agricultural landscapes can increase the connectivity between otherwise isolated plant and pollinator populations (corridor function, but can have additional, and so far unknown barrier effects on pollination services. Functioning as a barrier, linear landscape elements can impede pollinator movement and dispersal, even for highly mobile species such as bees. These results should be considered in future management plans aiming to enhance the persistence of threatened pollinator and plant populations by restoring functional connectivity and to ensure sufficient crop pollination in the agricultural landscape.

  15. Pollination deficits in UK apple orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Paul Douglas Garratt

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Apple production in the UK is worth over £100 million per annum and this production is heavily dependent on insect pollination. Despite its importance, it is not clear which insect pollinators carry out the majority of this pollination. Furthermore, it is unknown whether current UK apple production, in terms of both yield and quality, suffers pollination deficits and whether production value could be increased through effective management of pollination services. The present study set out to address some of these unknowns and showed that solitary bee activity is high in orchards and that they could be making a valuable contribution to pollination. Furthermore, fruit set and apple seed number were found to be suffering potential pollination deficits although these were not reflected in apple quality. Deficits could be addressed through orchard management practices to improve the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators. Such practices include provision of additional floral resources and nesting habitats as well as preservation of semi-natural areas. The cost effectiveness of such strategies would need to be understood taking into account the potential gains to the apple industry.

  16. Pollination deficits in UK apple orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Potts

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Apple production in the UK is worth over £100 million per annum and this production is heavily dependent on insect pollination. Despite its importance, it is not clear which insect pollinators carry out the majority of this pollination. Furthermore, it is unknown whether current UK apple production, in terms of both yield and quality, suffers pollination deficits and whether production value could be increased through effective management of pollination services. The present study set out to address some of these unknowns and showed that solitary bee activity is high in orchards and that they could be making a valuable contribution to pollination. Furthermore, fruit set and apple seed number were found to be suffering potential pollination deficits although these were not reflected in apple quality. Deficits could be addressed through orchard management practices to improve the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators. Such practices include provision of additional floral resources and nesting habitats as well as preservation of semi-natural areas. The cost effectiveness of such strategies would need to be understood taking into account the potential gains to the apple industry.

  17. Negative effects of pesticides on wild bee communities can be buffered by landscape context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Mia G.; Blitzer, E. J.; Gibbs, Jason; Losey, John E.; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2015-01-01

    Wild bee communities provide underappreciated but critical agricultural pollination services. Given predicted global shortages in pollination services, managing agroecosystems to support thriving wild bee communities is, therefore, central to ensuring sustainable food production. Benefits of natural (including semi-natural) habitat for wild bee abundance and diversity on farms are well documented. By contrast, few studies have examined toxicity of pesticides on wild bees, let alone effects of farm-level pesticide exposure on entire bee communities. Whether beneficial natural areas could mediate effects of harmful pesticides on wild bees is also unknown. Here, we assess the effect of conventional pesticide use on the wild bee community visiting apple (Malus domestica) within a gradient of percentage natural area in the landscape. Wild bee community abundance and species richness decreased linearly with increasing pesticide use in orchards one year after application; however, pesticide effects on wild bees were buffered by increasing proportion of natural habitat in the surrounding landscape. A significant contribution of fungicides to observed pesticide effects suggests deleterious properties of a class of pesticides that was, until recently, considered benign to bees. Our results demonstrate extended benefits of natural areas for wild pollinators and highlight the importance of considering the landscape context when weighing up the costs of pest management on crop pollination services. PMID:26041355

  18. Selection of VSH-derived Pol-line honey bees and evaluation of their Varroa-resistance characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, that have high expression of the trait “Varroa sensitive hygiene” (VSH) have good resistance to Varroa destructor. We selected “Pol-line” bees by outcrossing VSH queens in three U.S. commercial beekeeping companies annually during 2008-2014 and selecting colonies with the...

  19. Ecology and management of crop pollination and pest control

    OpenAIRE

    Lundin, Ola

    2013-01-01

    The agricultural landscape has gone through large changes to meet increasing demands for food. This has led to major biodiversity declines, while effects on ecosystem services that support agricultural productivity, such as pollination and pest control, remain less studied. This thesis examines temporal trends, impacts, and management for functionally important insects in agriculture using red clover seed production as a model system. Red clover is pollinated by bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and ...

  20. Ecological-economic modelling of interactions between wild and commercial bees and pesticide use

    OpenAIRE

    Kleczkowski, Adam; Ellis, Ciaran; Goulson, Dave; Hanley, Nick

    2015-01-01

    The decline in extent of wild pollinators in recent years has been partly associated with changing farm practices and in particular with increasing pesticide use. In this paper we combine ecological modelling with economic analysis of a single farm output under the as- sumption that both pollination and pest control are essential inputs. We show that the drive to increase farm output can lead to a local decline in the wild bee population. Commercial bees are often considered an alternative to...

  1. Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests

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    Matthias Schleuning

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. In a rapid diversity assessment, we collected individuals of two major groups of insect pollinators (bees and butterflies/moths with pan traps and compared pollinator diversities in a spatial block design between forest interior, forest edge and adjacent fire-degraded habitats at eight sites in the Bolivian Andes. We found that bee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in fire-degraded habitats than in forest habitats, whereas species richness and abundance of butterflies/moths increased towards the forests interior. Species turnover between forest and fire-degraded habitats was very high for both pollinator groups and was reflected by an increase in the body size of bee species and a decrease in the body size of butterfly/moth species in fire-degraded habitats. We conclude that deforestation by frequent fires has profound impacts on the diversity and composition of pollinator communities. Our tentative findings suggest shifts towards bee-dominated pollinator communities in fire-degraded habitats that may have important feedbacks on the regenerating communities of insect-pollinated plant species.

  2. Bee Abundance and Nutritional Status in Relation to Grassland Management Practices in an Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Griffin W; Debinski, Diane M; Scavo, Nicole A; Lange, Corey J; Delaney, John T; Moranz, Raymond A; Miller, James R; Engle, David M; Toth, Amy L

    2016-04-01

    Grasslands provide important resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes. Managing grasslands with fire and grazing has the potential to benefit plant and pollinator communities, though there is uncertainty about the ideal approach. We examined the relationships among burning and grazing regimes, plant communities, and Bombus species and Apis mellifera L. abundance and nutritional indicators at the Grand River Grasslands in southern Iowa and northern Missouri. Treatment regimes included burn-only, grazed-and-burned, and patch-burn graze (pastures subdivided into three temporally distinct fire patches with free access by cattle). The premise of the experimental design was that patch-burn grazing would increase habitat heterogeneity, thereby providing more diverse and abundant floral resources for pollinators. We predicted that both bee abundance and individual bee nutritional indicators (bee size and lipid content) would be positively correlated with floral resource abundance. There were no significant differences among treatments with respect to bee abundance. However, some of the specific characteristics of the plant community showed significant relationships with bee response variables. Pastures with greater abundance of floral resources had greater bee abundance but lower bee nutritional indicators. Bee nutritional variables were positively correlated with vegetation height, but, in some cases, negatively correlated with stocking rate. These results suggest grassland site characteristics such as floral resource abundance and stocking rate are of potential importance to bee pollinators and suggest avenues for further research to untangle the complex interactions between grassland management, plant responses, and bee health.

  3. Social and Ecological Drivers of the Economic Value of Pollination Services Delivered to Coffee in Central Uganda

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    Bin Mushambanyi Théodore Munyuli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available On-farm pollination experiments were conducted in 30 different small-scale coffee fields to determine monetary value attributable to pollination services in coffee production and to identify the degree of influences of various socio-ecological drivers in Uganda. Ecological-economic approaches were applied to determine the economic value of pollinating services. Economic value of bees increased significantly with increase in coffee farm size, bee diversity, and cover of seminatural habitats. The value of bees declined sharply (P<0.05 with forest distance and cultivation intensity. Economic values of pollinating services associated with coffee fields established in regions with low intensity were found to be high. Organically managed small-scale coffee fields were 2 times more profitable than commercially managed farms. The annual value of pollinating services delivered by wild bees oscillated between US$67.18 and US$1431.36. Central Uganda produces in total 0.401 million tons of coffee beans for an approximate economic value of US$214 million from which US$149.42 million are attributable to pollination services. Policy makers should strengthen environmental/agricultural extension service systems to better serve farmers. Farmers are recommended to protect/increase the cover of natural and semi-natural habitats in the vicinity of their coffee fields to receive high economic benefits from pollinating services delivered by bees.

  4. The plight of the bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, Marla; Mader, Eric; Vaughan, Mace; Euliss, Ned H.

    2011-01-01

    to help them. This concern provides a good opportunity to more closely examine pollinators and our dependence upon them. Bees are reaching their tipping point because they are expected to perform in an increasingly inhospitable world.

  5. Contrasting bee pollination in two co-occurring distylic species of Cordia (Cordiaceae, Boraginales) in the Brazilian semi-arid Caatinga: generalist in C. globosa vs. specialist in C. leucocephala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Isabel C; Lopes, Ariadna V; Sazima, Marlies

    2010-12-01

    In this study we compare the reproductive biology of Cordia globosa and C. leucocephala (Cordiaceae, Boraginales; formerly referred to Boraginaceae) to understand the functioning of the floral morphs and the relations with their effective pollinators. The species are synchronopatric, distylic, and self-incompatible. Though they share melittophilous traits, the main visitor and pollinator of C. globosa was the generalist and exotic bee Apis mellifera, while the only one of C. leucocephala was the oligoletic bee Ceblurgus longipalpis. These two latter species are restricted to the Caatinga of NE Brazil, contrasting with the wide distribution of Cordia globosa. While the fruit-set for C. globosa was high, independently if the pollen donor/stigma receptor was a pin (long-styled) or thrum (short-styled) individual, in C. leucocephala the fruit-set was low and occurred only when a thrum individual was the pollen donor. This raises the possibility of this species moving towards dioecy. The high natural fruit-set of C. globosa confirms the generalist bee as its effective pollinator. The low fruit-set after manual crosses in C. leucocephala may be due to low pollen viability. Additionally, the low natural fruit-set (two times lower than after crosses) may be related with the foraging behavior of the specialist pollinator.

  6. Synergistic interactions of ecosystem services: florivorous pest control boosts crop yield increase through insect pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Louis; Albrecht, Matthias

    2016-02-10

    Insect pollination and pest control are pivotal functions sustaining global food production. However, they have mostly been studied in isolation and how they interactively shape crop yield remains largely unexplored. Using controlled field experiments, we found strong synergistic effects of insect pollination and simulated pest control on yield quantity and quality. Their joint effect increased yield by 23%, with synergistic effects contributing 10%, while their single contributions were 7% and 6%, respectively. The potential economic benefit for a farmer from the synergistic effects (12%) was 1.8 times greater than their individual contributions (7% each). We show that the principal underlying mechanism was a pronounced pest-induced reduction in flower lifetime, resulting in a strong reduction in the number of pollinator visits a flower receives during its lifetime. Our findings highlight the importance of non-additive interactions among ecosystem services (ES) when valuating, mapping or predicting them and reveal fundamental implications for ecosystem management and policy aimed at maximizing ES for sustainable agriculture. PMID:26865304

  7. Among-population variation in microbial community structure in the floral nectar of the bee-pollinated forest herb Pulmonaria officinalis L.

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    Hans Jacquemyn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Microbial communities in floral nectar have been shown to be characterized by low levels of species diversity, yet little is known about among-plant population variation in microbial community composition. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the microbial community structure (yeasts and bacteria in floral nectar of ten fragmented populations of the bee-pollinated forest herb Pulmonaria officinalis. We also explored possible relationships between plant population size and microbial diversity in nectar, and related microbial community composition to the distance separating plant populations. Culturable bacteria and yeasts occurring in the floral nectar of a total of 100 plant individuals were isolated and identified by partially sequencing the 16S rRNA gene and D1/D2 domains of the 26S rRNA gene, respectively. A total of 9 and 11 yeast and 28 and 39 bacterial OTUs was found, taking into account a 3% (OTU0.03 and 1% sequence dissimilarity cut-off (OTU0.01. OTU richness at the plant population level (i.e. the number of OTUs per population was low for yeasts (mean: 1.7, range: 0-4 OTUs0.01/0.03 per population, whereas on average 6.9 (range: 2-13 OTUs0.03 and 7.9 (range 2-16 OTUs0.01 per population were found for bacteria. Both for yeasts and bacteria, OTU richness was not significantly related to plant population size. Similarity in community composition among populations was low (average Jaccard index: 0.14, and did not decline with increasing distance between populations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found low similarity in microbial community structure among populations, suggesting that the assembly of nectar microbiota is to a large extent context-dependent. Although the precise factors that affect variation in microbial community structure in floral nectar require further study, our results indicate that both local and regional processes may contribute to among-population variation in microbial community structure in

  8. Butterfly pollination in Pteroglossa (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae): a comparative study on the reproductive biology of two species of a Neotropical genus of Spiranthinae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pansarin, Emerson R; Ferreira, Alessandro W C

    2015-05-01

    Spiranthinae orchids are known for being self-compatible and offering nectar as a reward. Although data on their pollinators are scarce, members of this tribe are mostly pollinated by bees, hummingbirds and moths. Some of them even reproduce through facultative self-pollination. Nothing is known about the pollinators and reproduction system in Pteroglossa. Based on records on flowering phenology, floral morphology, reward production, pollinators and breeding system, this paper aims to study the reproductive biology of two Pteroglossa spp. Both species offer nectar as a resource and are pollinated exclusively by diurnal Lepidoptera at the studied areas. Nectar is produced by two glandular nectaries, and is stored in a spur. Pollinaria possess a ventrally adhesive viscidium that is deposited on the basal portion of butterfly proboscides. Both species are self-compatible but pollinator-dependent. The reproductive success is low when compared to other Spiranthinae. Although no evident mechanical barrier to avoid self-pollination or geitonogamy was identified, the erratic behavior of the butterflies, with their infrequent visits to only one flower per inflorescence, contributes to an increased fruit set produced through cross-pollination. The presence of ventrally adhesive viscidia in Spiranthinae is responsible for greater pollinator diversity when compared to bee-pollinated Goodyerinae with dorsally adhesive viscidia, adapted to attach to bee mouthparts.

  9. Milkweed (Gentianales: Apocynaceae): a farmscape resource for increasing parasitism of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and providing nectar to insect pollinators and monarch butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillman, P G; Carpenter, J E

    2014-04-01

    In peanut-cotton farmscapes in Georgia, the stink bugs Nezara viridula (L.) and Chinavia hilaris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and the leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus (L.) (Hemiptera: Coreidae), disperse at crop-to-crop interfaces to feed on bolls in cotton. The main objective of this study was to determine whether insecticide-free tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica L.), a nectar-producing plant, can increase parasitism of these bugs by Trichopoda pennipes (F.) (Diptera: Tachinidae) and provide nectar to monarch butterflies and insect pollinators in these farmscapes. Peanut-cotton plots with and without flowering milkweed plants were established in 2009 and 2010. Adult T. pennipes, monarch butterflies, honey bees, and native insect pollinators readily fed on floral nectar of milkweed. Monarch larvae feeding on milkweed vegetation successfully developed into pupae. In 2009, N. viridula was the primary host of T. pennipes in cotton, and parasitism of this pest by the parasitoid was significantly higher in milkweed cotton (61.6%) than in control cotton (13.3%). In 2010, parasitism of N. viridula, C. hilaris, and L. phyllopus by T. pennipes was significantly higher in milkweed cotton (24.0%) than in control cotton (1.1%). For both years of the study, these treatment differences were not owing to a response by the parasitoid to differences in host density, because density of hosts was not significantly different between treatments. In conclusion, incorporation of milkweed in peanut-cotton plots increased stink bug parasitism in cotton and provided nectar to insect pollinators and monarch butterflies. PMID:24763094

  10. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. PMID:27539950

  11. Effect of conservation management on bees and insect-pollinated grassland plant communities in three European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batáry, P.; Báldi, A.; Sárospataki, M.; Kohler, F.; Verhulst, J.; Knop, E.; Herzog, F.; Kleijn, D.

    2010-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that agricultural intensification drives the decline of biodiversity and related ecosystem services like pollination. Conservation management, such as agri-environment schemes (AES), has been introduced to counteract these declines, but in Western European countries these t

  12. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley B Bennett

    Full Text Available In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation.

  13. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ashley B; Meehan, Timothy D; Gratton, Claudio; Isaacs, Rufus

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation. PMID:25365559

  14. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ashley B; Meehan, Timothy D; Gratton, Claudio; Isaacs, Rufus

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation.

  15. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathog...

  16. Drifting bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers in commercial greenhouses may be social parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Birmingham, A.L.; Hoover, S.E.; Winston, M.L.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    Commercial greenhouses require high densities of managed bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis Greene, 1858 and Bombus impatiens Cresson, 1863) colonies to pollinate crops such as tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller). We examined drifting, a behavioural consequence of introducing closely aggregated colonies into greenhouse habitats, to determine possible explanations for observed drifting frequencies. Bee drift is normally associated with increased individual mortality and disease transfer bet...

  17. Pollination Research Methods with Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter describes field and lab procedures for doing experiments on honey bee pollination. Most of the methods apply to any insect for whom pollen vectoring capacity is the question. What makes honey bee pollination distinctive is its historic emphasis on agricultural applications; hence one fi...

  18. Nectar minerals as regulators of flower visitation in stingless bees and nectar hoarding wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afik, Ohad; Delaplane, Keith S; Shafir, Sharoni; Moo-Valle, Humberto; Quezada-Euán, J Javier G

    2014-05-01

    Various nectar components have a repellent effect on flower visitors, and their adaptive advantages for the plant are not well understood. Persea americana (avocado) is an example of a plant that secretes nectar with repellent components. It was demonstrated that the mineral constituents of this nectar, mainly potassium and phosphate, are concentrated enough to repel honey bees, Apis mellifera, a pollinator often used for commercial avocado pollination. Honey bees, however, are not the natural pollinator of P. americana, a plant native to Central America. In order to understand the role of nectar minerals in plant-pollinator relationships, it is important to focus on the plant's interactions with its natural pollinators. Two species of stingless bees and one species of social wasp, all native to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, part of the natural range of P. americana, were tested for their sensitivity to sugar solutions enriched with potassium and phosphate, and compared with the sensitivity of honey bees. In choice tests between control and mineral-enriched solutions, all three native species were indifferent for mineral concentrations lower than those naturally occurring in P. americana nectar. Repellence was expressed at concentrations near or exceeding natural concentrations. The threshold point at which native pollinators showed repellence to increasing levels of minerals was higher than that detected for honey bees. The results do not support the hypothesis that high mineral content is attractive for native Hymenopteran pollinators; nevertheless, nectar mineral composition may still have a role in regulating flower visitors through different levels of repellency. PMID:24888745

  19. Screenhouse Evaluations of a Mason Bee Osmia ribifloris (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) as a Pollinator for Blueberries in the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmia ribifloris Cresson is a solitary stem-nesting bee whose adult emergence perfectly coincided with the flowering periods of cultivated southern blueberries. An isolated case of extended prepupal dormancy occurred, but never reappeared in a captive population raised in Mississippi. Adults foraged...

  20. The relationship between managed bees and the prevalence of parasites in bumblebees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Graystock

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees and, more recently, bumblebees have been domesticated and are now managed commercially primarily for crop pollination, mixing with wild pollinators during foraging on shared flower resources. There is mounting evidence that managed honey bees or commercially produced bumblebees may affect the health of wild pollinators such as bumblebees by increasing competition for resources and the prevalence of parasites in wild bees. Here we screened 764 bumblebees from around five greenhouses that either used commercially produced bumblebees or did not, as well as bumblebees from 10 colonies placed at two sites either close to or far from a honey bee apiary, for the parasites Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi, N. ceranae, N. apis and deformed wing virus. We found that A. bombi and C. bombi were more prevalent around greenhouses using commercially produced bumblebees, while C. bombi was 18% more prevalent in bumblebees at the site near to the honey bee apiary than those at the site far from the apiary. Whilst these results are from only a limited number of sites, they support previous reports of parasite spillover from commercially produced bumblebees to wild bumblebees, and suggest that the impact of stress from competing with managed bees or the vectoring of parasites by them on parasite prevalence in wild bees needs further investigation. It appears increasingly likely that the use of managed bees comes at a cost of increased parasites in wild bumblebees, which is not only a concern for bumblebee conservation, but which may impact other pollinators as well.

  1. Impact of bee pollinators on seed set and yield of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa (Leguminosae grown under semiarid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahera Zaitoun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment was conducted during 2005/2006 at Jordan University of Science and Technology campus (32°30” N, 35°59” E, Irbid, Jordan, to study the role of bee visitors on seed set and production of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa grown under semiarid conditions. Two treatments were imposed on Vicia villosa plants before flowering: 1 Plants were covered in cages (control or 2 Plants were left uncovered to permit bee visiting. The results of this experiment showed that V. villosa flowers were very attractive to worker honeybees as well as to few numbers of wild bees. The most frequent visitor species were A. mellifera and Anthophora albigena of family Apidae. V. villosa flowers attracted most of the bee visitors in the early hours of the day. The duration of their visit on the flowers also peaked early in the day and decreased toward the end of the day. The percentage of pod set of the un-covered plants averaged 14% out of the total florets on the plants, which was significantly higher than the covered plants (2%. These results indicated that the percentage of flower abscission was high and averaged more than 86%. Plant covering significantly reduced seed yield by reducing seed and pod number per plant and seed number per pod, but had no effect on individual seed weight. In conclusion, preventing bees from visiting during flowering of V. villosa spp. dasycarpa decreased seed set, seed yield and yield components. Further studies are needed to understand the high flower abscission and failure of seed set in this species.

  2. Visual and Olfactory Floral Cues of Campanula (Campanulaceae and Their Significance for Host Recognition by an Oligolectic Bee Pollinator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Milet-Pinheiro

    Full Text Available Oligolectic bees collect pollen from a few plants within a genus or family to rear their offspring, and are known to rely on visual and olfactory floral cues to recognize host plants. However, studies investigating whether oligolectic bees recognize distinct host plants by using shared floral cues are scarce. In the present study, we investigated in a comparative approach the visual and olfactory floral cues of six Campanula species, of which only Campanula lactiflora has never been reported as a pollen source of the oligolectic bee Ch. rapunculi. We hypothesized that the flowers of Campanula species visited by Ch. rapunculi share visual (i.e. color and/or olfactory cues (scents that give them a host-specific signature. To test this hypothesis, floral color and scent were studied by spectrophotometric and chemical analyses, respectively. Additionally, we performed bioassays within a flight cage to test the innate color preference of Ch. rapunculi. Our results show that Campanula flowers reflect the light predominantly in the UV-blue/blue bee-color space and that Ch. rapunculi displays a strong innate preference for these two colors. Furthermore, we recorded spiroacetals in the floral scent of all Campanula species, but Ca. lactiflora. Spiroacetals, rarely found as floral scent constituents but quite common among Campanula species, were recently shown to play a key function for host-flower recognition by Ch. rapunculi. We conclude that Campanula species share some visual and olfactory floral cues, and that neurological adaptations (i.e. vision and olfaction of Ch. rapunculi innately drive their foraging flights toward host flowers. The significance of our findings for the evolution of pollen diet breadth in bees is discussed.

  3. Annual dynamics of wild bee densities: attractiveness and productivity effects of oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedinger, Verena; Mitesser, Oliver; Hovestadt, Thomas; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Mass-flowering crops may affect long-term population dynamics, but effects on pollinators have never been studied across several years. We monitored wild bees in oilseed rape fields in 16 landscapes in Germany in two consecutive years. Effects on bee densities of landscape oilseed rape cover in the years of monitoring and in the previous years were evaluated with landscape data from three consecutive years. We fit empirical data to a mechanistic model to provide estimates for oilseed rape attractiveness and its effect on bee productivity in comparison to the rest of the landscape, and we evaluated consequences for pollinator densities in consecutive years. Our results show that high oilseed rape cover in the previous year enhances current densities of wild bees (except for bumble bees). Moreover, we show a strong attractiveness of and dilution on (i.e., decreasing bee densities with increasing landscape oilseed rape cover) oilseed rape for bees during flowering in the current year, modifying the effect of the previous year's oilseed rape cover in the case of wild bees (excluding Bombus). As long as other factors such as nesting sites or natural enemies do not limit bee reproduction, our findings suggest long-term positive effects of mass-flowering crops on bee populations, at least for non-Bombus generalists, which possibly help to maintain crop pollination services even when crop area increases. Similar effects are conceivable for other organisms providing ecosystem services in annual crops and should be considered in future studies. PMID:26236848

  4. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  5. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Tan

    Full Text Available Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera, to other important bee species.

  6. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species.

  7. The phylogenetic structure of plant-pollinator networks increases with habitat size and isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Gleiser, Gabriela; Sabatino, Malena; Gilarranz, Luis J; Bascompte, Jordi; Verdú, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Similarity among species in traits related to ecological interactions is frequently associated with common ancestry. Thus, closely related species usually interact with ecologically similar partners, which can be reinforced by diverse co-evolutionary processes. The effect of habitat fragmentation on the phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions and correspondence between plant and animal phylogenies is, however, unknown. Here, we address to what extent phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic congruence of plant-animal interactions depend on habitat size and isolation by analysing the phylogenetic structure of 12 pollination webs from isolated Pampean hills. Phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions differed among webs, being stronger for flower-visiting insects than plants. Phylogenetic signal and overall co-phylogenetic congruence increased independently with hill size and isolation. We propose that habitat fragmentation would erode the phylogenetic structure of interaction webs. A decrease in phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic correspondence in plant-pollinator interactions could be associated with less reliable mutualism and erratic co-evolutionary change. PMID:26493295

  8. Poor correlation between the removal or deposition of pollen grains and frequency of pollinator contact with sex organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Ryota L.; Morinaga, Shin-Ichi

    2013-09-01

    Pollinators deposit pollen grains on stigmas and remove pollen grains from anthers. The mechanics of these transfers can now be quantified with the use of high-speed video. We videoed hawkmoths, carpenter bees, and swallowtail butterflies pollinating Clerodendrum trichotomum. The number of grains deposited on stigmas did not vary significantly with the number of times pollinators contacted stigmas. In contrast, pollen removal from the anthers increased significantly with the number of contacts to anthers. Pollen removal varied among the three types of pollinators. Also, the three types carried pollen on different parts of their bodies. In hawkmoths and carpenter bees, a large number of contacted body part with anthers differed significantly from the body part that attached a large number of pollen grains. Our results indicate that a large number of contacts by pollinators does not increase either the male or female reproductive success of plants compared to a small number of contacts during a visit.

  9. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misha Leong

    Full Text Available Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1 rates of bee visitation, 2 viable seed set, and 3 the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set. We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services.

  10. Efeito da polinização por abelhas e outros insetos na produção de sementes de cebola Effect of pollination by bees and other insects on the production of onion seeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidia Witter

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A deficiência de polinização tem sido apontada como uma das causas da baixa produção de sementes na cultura da cebola. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar a relação da presença de abelhas e outros insetos em flores de duas cultivares de cebola, Allium cepa L. (Alliaceae, com a produção de sementes. Foram registradas a diversidade e a freqüência de insetos nas flores de cebola e o efeito polinizador foi testado. O comportamento de Apis mellifera foi observado diretamente nas flores e a fidelidade verificada a partir do pólen nas corbículas. Representantes de Hymenoptera e Diptera foram os visitantes florais mais abundantes. Houve correlação entre a freqüência de A. mellifera com número de umbelas com flores, em ambas cultivares, e de outros insetos em Crioula Alto Vale. A produção de sementes com livre visitação de insetos apresentou acréscimo superior a 20% em relação às parcelas sem insetos e com visita de uma abelha. A. mellifera transportou mais de 70% de pólen de cebola. A presença de A. mellifera é indispensável para a produção comercial de sementes de cebola.Pollination's deficit has been pointed as one of the causes of the low onion seed production. The objective of this work was to evaluate the relationship of the presence of bees and other insects in flowers of two cultivars of onion, Allium cepa L. (Alliaceae, with seed production. The diversity and frequency of insects in flowers of onion was registered and their pollinizing effect was tested. The behavior of Apis mellifera was directly observed in the flowers and the fidelity was testified from the presence of pollen in the corbiculas. Representatives of Hymenoptera and Diptera were the most abundant flower visitors. There was a correlation between frequency of A. mellifera and the number of umbels with flowers in both cultivars and of other insects in Crioula Alto Vale. The production of seeds with free insect visitation had an increase of more

  11. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. PMID:25196470

  12. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie E F Evison

    Full Text Available Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris, as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  13. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  14. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Wang

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies.

  15. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mattila, H.R.; Rios, D.; Walker-Sperling, V.E.; Roeselers, G.; Newton, I.L.G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected poll

  16. Selection by pollinators on floral traits in generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae along altitudinal gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Gang Zhao

    Full Text Available Abundance and visitation of pollinator assemblages tend to decrease with altitude, leading to an increase in pollen limitation. Thus increased competition for pollinators may generate stronger selection on attractive traits of flowers at high elevations and cause floral adaptive evolution. Few studies have related geographically variable selection from pollinators and intraspecific floral differentiation. We investigated the variation of Trollius ranunculoides flowers and its pollinators along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and measured phenotypic selection by pollinators on floral traits across populations. The results showed significant decline of visitation rate of bees along altitudinal gradients, while flies was unchanged. When fitness is estimated by the visitation rate rather than the seed number per plant, phenotypic selection on the sepal length and width shows a significant correlation between the selection strength and the altitude, with stronger selection at higher altitudes. However, significant decreases in the sepal length and width of T. ranunculoides along the altitudinal gradient did not correspond to stronger selection of pollinators. In contrast to the pollinator visitation, mean annual precipitation negatively affected the sepal length and width, and contributed more to geographical variation in measured floral traits than the visitation rate of pollinators. Therefore, the sepal size may have been influenced by conflicting selection pressures from biotic and abiotic selective agents. This study supports the hypothesis that lower pollinator availability at high altitude can intensify selection on flower attractive traits, but abiotic selection is preventing a response to selection from pollinators.

  17. Impact of honeybee (Apis mellifera L. density on wild bee foraging behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goras Georgios

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are globally regarded as important crop pollinators and are also valued for their honey production. They have been introduced on an almost worldwide scale. During recent years, however, several studies argue their possible competition with unmanaged pollinators. Here we examine the possible effects of honey bees on the foraging behaviour of wild bees on Cistus creticus flowers in Northern Greece. We gradually introduced one, five, and eight honey-bee hives per site, each containing ca. 20,000 workers. The visitation frequency and visit duration of wild bees before and after the beehive introductions were measured by flower observation. While the visitation frequencies of wild bees were unaffected, the average time wild bees spent on C. creticus increased with the introduction of the honey-bee hives. Although competition between honey bees and wild bees is often expected, we did not find any clear evidence for significant effects even in honey-bee densities much higher than the European-wide average of 3.1 colonies/km2.

  18. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahlai, Christie A; Landis, Douglas A

    2016-06-01

    observations were not associated with Internet images, but were slightly associated with BP. Our results suggest that passively crowdsourced image data can potentially be a useful screening tool to identify candidate plants for pollinator habitat restoration efforts directed at wild bee conservation. Increasing our understanding of the attractiveness of a greater diversity of plants increases the potential for more rapid and efficient research in creating pollinator-supportive landscapes. PMID:27429762

  19. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse

    OpenAIRE

    Mattila, Heather R.; Daniela Rios; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E.; Guus Roeselers; Newton, Irene L.G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically ...

  20. Molecular diagnosis and characterization of honey bee pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Forsgren, Eva

    2009-01-01

    Bees are crucial for maintaining biodiversity by pollination of numerous plant species. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is of great importance not only for the honey they produce, but also as vital pollinators of agricultural and horticultural crops. The economical value of pollination has been estimated to be several billion dollars, and pollinator declines are a global biodiversity threat. Hence, honey bee health has great impact on the economy, food production and biodiversity worl...

  1. Railway embankments as new habitat for pollinators in an agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawid Moroń

    Full Text Available Pollinating insect populations, essential for maintaining wild plant diversity and agricultural productivity, rely on (seminatural habitats. An increasing human population is encroaching upon and deteriorating pollinator habitats. Thus the population persistence of pollinating insects and their associated ecosystem services may depend upon on man-made novel habitats; however, their importance for ecosystem services is barely understood. We tested if man-made infrastructure (railway embankments in an agricultural landscape establishes novel habitats that support large populations of pollinators (bees, butterflies, hoverflies when compared to typical habitats for these insects, i.e., semi-natural grasslands. We also identified key environmental factors affecting the species richness and abundance of pollinators on embankments. Species richness and abundance of bees and butterflies were higher for railway embankments than for grasslands. The occurrence of bare (non-vegetated ground on embankments positively affected bee species richness and abundance, but negatively affected butterfly populations. Species richness and abundance of butterflies positively depended on species richness of native plants on embankments, whereas bee species richness was positively affected by species richness of non-native flowering plants. The density of shrubs on embankments negatively affected the number of bee species and their abundance. Bee and hoverfly species richness were positively related to wood cover in a landscape surrounding embankments. This is the first study showing that railway embankments constitute valuable habitat for the conservation of pollinators in farmland. Specific conservation strategies involving embankments should focus on preventing habitat deterioration due to encroachment of dense shrubs and maintaining grassland vegetation with patches of bare ground.

  2. Bee assemblage in habitats associated with Brassica napus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Halinski

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTAssessments in agricultural crops indicate that alterations in the landscape adjacent to the crops can result in reduced productivity due to loss or low abundance of pollinating agents. In the canola crop, production is partially dependent on insect pollination. Therefore, knowledge of the faunal diversity within and near crop fields is key for the management of these insects and consequently for the increase in productivity. This study aimed to determine and compare the diversity of bees in habitats associated with canola fields in southern Brazil. Bees were captured in four agricultural areas using pan traps in three habitat classes: (1 flowering canola crop, (2 forest remnant, and (3 grassland vegetation. The highest abundance of bees was observed in the grassland vegetation (50% and in the flowering canola field (47%. Eight species common to the three habitat classes were recorded, four of which are represented by native social bees. In addition, a single or a few individuals represented species that were exclusive to a specific habitat class; eight species were collected exclusively in the interior of the canola field, 51 in the grassland vegetation, and six in the forest remnant. The majority of the rare species recorded exhibits subsocial or solitary behaviour and inhabit open places. The composition of bee groups differed between the habitats showing the importance of maintaining habitat mosaics with friendly areas for pollinators, which promote the pollination service for canola flowers.

  3. Spatial heterogeneity and the distribution of bromeliad pollinators in the Atlantic Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varassin, Isabela Galarda; Sazima, Marlies

    2012-08-01

    Interactions between plants and their pollinators are influenced by environmental heterogeneity, resulting in small-scale variations in interactions. This may influence pollinator co-existence and plant reproductive success. This study, conducted at the Estação Biológica de Santa Lúcia (EBSL), a remnant of the Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil, investigated the effect of small-scale spatial variations on the interactions between bromeliads and their pollinators. Overall, hummingbirds pollinated 19 of 23 bromeliad species, of which 11 were also pollinated by bees and/or butterflies. However, spatial heterogeneity unrelated to the spatial location of plots or bromeliad species abundance influenced the presence of pollinators. Hummingbirds were the most ubiquitous pollinators at the high-elevation transect, with insect participation clearly declining as transect elevation increased. In the redundancy analysis, the presence of the hummingbird species Phaethornis eurynome, Phaethornis squalidus, Ramphodon naevius, and Thalurania glaucopis, and the butterfly species Heliconius erato and Heliconius nattereri in each plot was correlated with environmental factors such as bromeliad and tree abundance, and was also correlated with horizontal diversity. Since plant-pollinator interactions varied within the environmental mosaics at the study site, this small-scale environmental heterogeneity may relax competition among pollinators, and may explain the high diversity of bromeliads and pollinators generally found in the Atlantic Forest.

  4. A meta-analysis of bees' responses to anthropogenic disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, Rachael; Aguilar, Ramiro; Vázquez, Diego P; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Aizen, Marcelo A

    2009-08-01

    Pollinators may be declining globally, a matter of concern because animal pollination is required by most of the world's plant species, including many crop plants. Human land use and the loss of native habitats is thought to be an important driver of decline for wild, native pollinators, yet the findings of published studies on this topic have never been quantitatively synthesized. Here we use meta-analysis to synthesize the literature on how bees, the most important group of pollinators, are affected by human disturbances such as habitat loss, grazing, logging, and agriculture. We obtained 130 effect sizes from 54 published studies recording bee abundance and/or species richness as a function of human disturbance. Both bee abundance and species richness were significantly, negatively affected by disturbance. However, the magnitude of the effects was not large. Furthermore, the only disturbance type showing a significant negative effect, habitat loss and fragmentation, was statistically significant only in systems where very little natural habitat remains. Therefore, it would be premature to draw conclusions about habitat loss having caused global pollinator decline without first assessing the extent to which the existing studies represent the status of global ecosystems. Future pollinator declines seem likely given forecasts of increasing land-use change. PMID:19739369

  5. Tropilaelaps of bees - epizootiological picture with special emphasis on the first description of the parasite in bumblebees and bees in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manić Marija

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are the most significant pollinators of plants worlwide. Importance of plant pollination widely exceeds all other economic benefits of modern beekeeping such as production of honey, Royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, honeybee venom etc. The issues concerning bees diseases are of extreme importance in modern commercial beekeeping. That especially regards to the fact that the number of disease agents in bees has considerably increased in recent decades. Using international transport, export or import of bees and their products, the possibility of entering various agents (parasites, bacterias, viruses and fungi into bee colonies. In recent years one of the biggest problems in beekeeping in Asia has become tropilaelaps - ectoparasitic bee disease caused by mites of the genus Tropilaelaps. But because of prevalent interest in parasites Varroa destructor and Acarapis woodi, the threat of mites from Tropileaps family has not been familiar for a long period of time. Today, Tropilaelaps is on the list of diseases endangering the whole world, made by OIE. There is a real risk of its spreading, mostly through trade, that is import of bees, swarms, queen bees, bee products and equipment. In the Republic of Serbia, this disease was described for the first time in April-May 1981 in bumblebees and bees in which a mass infestation with until then unknown parasites was detected. By additional analysis there was found out that the parasite in question was from Laelapidae (Mesostigmata family, Tropilaelaps.

  6. Bee deaths need analysing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boonekamp, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Alarm bells are ringing all over the world about the death of bee populations. Although it is not known exactly how severe the decline is, it is important to take the problem seriously. The signals are alarming and the bee is important, not just for natural ecosystems but also for the pollination of

  7. Prolonged Postdiapause: Influence on some Indicators of Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism of the Red Mason Bee, Osmia rufa

    OpenAIRE

    Dmochowska, Kamila; Giejdasz, Karol; Fliszkiewicz, Monika; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2013-01-01

    Bees of the genus Osmia are being used in crop pollination at an increasing rate. However, a short life expectancy of adult individuals limits the feasibility of their use. Cocoons of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), can be stored at 4° C in a postdiapause state, and adult bees can be used for pollination outside their natural flight period. The period of storage in this form has an unfavorable influence on the survival rate, life expectancy, and fertility of the ...

  8. Honey bees avoid nectar colonized by three bacterial species, but not by a yeast species, isolated from the bee gut.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley P Good

    Full Text Available The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees' health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees' health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees' efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees' health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior.

  9. Identification of major quantitative trait loci underlying floral pollination syndrome divergence in Penstemon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessinger, Carolyn A; Hileman, Lena C; Rausher, Mark D

    2014-08-01

    Distinct floral pollination syndromes have emerged multiple times during the diversification of flowering plants. For example, in western North America, a hummingbird pollination syndrome has evolved more than 100 times, generally from within insect-pollinated lineages. The hummingbird syndrome is characterized by a suite of floral traits that attracts and facilitates pollen movement by hummingbirds, while at the same time discourages bee visitation. These floral traits generally include large nectar volume, red flower colour, elongated and narrow corolla tubes and reproductive organs that are exerted from the corolla. A handful of studies have examined the genetic architecture of hummingbird pollination syndrome evolution. These studies find that mutations of relatively large effect often explain increased nectar volume and transition to red flower colour. In addition, they suggest that adaptive suites of floral traits may often exhibit a high degree of genetic linkage, which could facilitate their fixation during pollination syndrome evolution. Here, we explore these emerging generalities by investigating the genetic basis of floral pollination syndrome divergence between two related Penstemon species with different pollination syndromes--bee-pollinated P. neomexicanus and closely related hummingbird-pollinated P. barbatus. In an F2 mapping population derived from a cross between these two species, we characterized the effect size of genetic loci underlying floral trait divergence associated with the transition to bird pollination, as well as correlation structure of floral trait variation. We find the effect sizes of quantitative trait loci for adaptive floral traits are in line with patterns observed in previous studies, and find strong evidence that suites of floral traits are genetically linked. This linkage may be due to genetic proximity or pleiotropic effects of single causative loci. Interestingly, our data suggest that the evolution of floral traits

  10. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; YOSHIYAMA, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycli...

  11. 不同蜂传粉对设施桃果实生长发育和品质的影响%Effects of pollination by different bees on peach fruit development and quality under greenhouse conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董捷; 安建东; 黄家兴; 周志勇; 赵亚周; 邢艳红

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee Apis metlifera and bumblebee Bomhus hypocrita are Ihe two main pollinators of greenhouse peaches in China. The effects of pollination by the two bee species on peach fruit development and quality were studied in greenhouse conditions in Pinggu of Beijing City for 2008-2010. The results showed that the diameter growth rate of peach fruit pollinated by B. Hypocrita was significantly higher (P0.05) in fruit quality between fruits pollinated by different pollinator species. However, the quality of fruits pollinated by bees was significantly better (P<0.05) than that of the control (artificial pollination). Compared with A. Mellifera pollination, B. Hypocrita pollination resulted in higher single fruit weight and lower rate of malformed fruit (P<0.05) of peach fruits. In conclusion, the Chinese native bumblebee B. Hypocrita was a better pollinator of greenhouses peach than the honeybee A. Mellifera.%应用意大利蜜蜂和小峰熊蜂在北京平谷区果树试验站为设施桃传粉,以研究2种蜂的传粉行为对设施桃果实生长发育及其品质的影响.结果表明,应用小峰熊蜂授粉,设施桃果实在整个发育过程中的果径增长速度显著高于意大利蜜蜂授粉的果实(P<0.05).2种蜂授粉的设施桃果实发育历期不同,小峰熊蜂授粉区的桃果实比意大利蜜蜂授粉区的果实提前7d左右成熟.桃的生理落果高峰在小峰熊蜂授粉区出现2次,而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区出现3次.在小峰熊蜂授粉区,距离蜂箱不同距离之间的桃座果率基本一致;而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区,座果率随着与蜂箱距离的增大而明显降低.小峰熊蜂授粉区桃树的平均座果率略高于意大利蜜蜂授粉区,但二者之间差异不显著(P>0.05).经2种蜂传粉的设施桃果实营养品质差异不显著(P>0 05),但二者均明显优于人工授粉组(对照).和意大利蜜蜂授粉的桃果实相比,经小峰熊蜂传粉后的桃果实,

  12. Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) as a pollinator of pear (Pyrus communis): fruit- and seed-set

    OpenAIRE

    Maccagnani, Bettina; Ladurner, Edith; SANTI, FABRIZIO; Burgio, Giovanni

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the possibility of pollinating 'Abate Fetel' and 'Max Red Bartlett' pears with O. cornuta, different pollination treatments were compared in 1998 and 1999: (1) trees caged with O. cornuta bees; (2) open pollination - uncaged trees located at various distances from O. cornuta nesting shelters; (3) trees caged without bees. O. cornuta was the most abundant pollinator species in the orchard (97.6% of the observed insects). Caged trees pollinated by O. cornuta set significantly mor...

  13. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, A Nurul; Salmah, M R Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A; Razak, M N Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. 'Sala' and 'Chok Anan'. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors. PMID:26246439

  14. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus, or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus, and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach applied in the field.

  15. Bee Hunt! Ecojustice in Practice for Earth's Buzzing Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael P.; Pickering, John

    2010-01-01

    The Bee Hunt! project and curriculum are designed with cultural and environmental sensitivity in mind. In this project, K-12 students develop their awareness and understanding of science and investigate North American pollinator declines. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are integrally connected to the pollination of the world's crops for…

  16. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming Hua; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline K; Tarpy, David R; Rueppell, Olav

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees.

  17. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: pollination in coffee agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-05-21

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables.

  18. Invasive species management restores a plant-pollinator mutualism in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Cause; Foote, David; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-01

    1.The management and removal of invasive species may give rise to unanticipated changes in plant–pollinator mutualisms because they can alter the composition and functioning of plant–pollinator interactions in a variety of ways. To utilize a functional approach for invasive species management, we examined the restoration of plant–pollinator mutualisms following the large-scale removal of an invasive nectar thief and arthropod predator, Vespula pensylvanica. 2.We reduced V. pensylvanica populations in large plots managed over multiple years to examine the response of plant–pollinator mutualisms and the fruit production of a functionally important endemic Hawaiian tree species, Metrosideros polymorpha. To integrate knowledge of the invader's behaviour and the plant's mating system, we determined the efficacy of V. pensylvanica as a pollinator of M. polymorpha and quantified the dependence of M. polymorpha on animal pollination (e.g. level of self-compatibility and pollen limitation). 3.The reduction of V. pensylvanica in managed sites, when compared to unmanaged sites, resulted in a significant increase in the visitation rates of effective bee pollinators (e.g. introduced Apis mellifera and native Hylaeus spp.) and in the fruit production of M. polymorpha. 4.Apis mellifera, following the management of V. pensylvanica, appears to be acting as a substitute pollinator for M. polymorpha, replacing extinct or threatened bird and bee species in our study system. 5.Synthesis and applications. Fruit production of the native M. polymorpha was increased after management of the invasive pollinator predator V. pensylvanica; however, the main pollinators were no longer native but introduced. This research thus demonstrates the diverse impacts of introduced species on ecological function and the ambiguous role they play in restoration. We recommend incorporating ecological function and context into invasive species management as this approach may enable conservation

  19. Red mason bees cannot compete with honey bees for floral resources in a cage experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra‐Maria

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Intensive beekeeping to mitigate crop pollination deficits and habitat loss may cause interspecific competition between bees. Studies show negative correlations between flower visitation of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees, but effects on the reproduction of wild bees were not proven. Likely reasons are that honey bees can hardly be excluded from controls and wild bee nests are generally difficult to detect in field experiments. The goal of this study was to investigate whet...

  20. Pollinator responses to floral colour change, nectar, and scent promote reproductive fitness in Quisqualis indica (Combretaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Juan; Wang, Gang; Sui, Yi; Wang, Menglin; Zhang, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Floral colour change is visual signals for pollinators to avoid old flowers and increase pollination efficiency. Quisqualis indica flowers change colour from white to pink to red may be associated with a shift from moth to butterfly pollination. To test this hypothesis, we investigated Q. indica populations in Southwest China. Flowers secreted nectar continuously from the evening of anthesis until the following morning, then decreased gradually with floral colour change. The scent compounds in the three floral colour stages were similar; however, the scent composition was different, and the scent emission rate decreased from the white to red stage. Dichogamy in Q. indica prevents self-pollination and interference of male and female functions. Controlled pollinations demonstrated that this species is self-incompatible and needs pollinators for seed production. Different pollinators were attracted in each floral colour stage; mainly moths at night and bees and butterflies during the day. Observations of open-pollinated inflorescences showed that white flowers had a higher fruit set than pink or red flowers, indicating the high contribution of moths to reproductive success. We concluded that the nectar and scent secretion are related to floral colour change in Q. indica, in order to attract different pollinators and promote reproductive fitness. PMID:27072926

  1. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: a case of self-medication in honey bees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael D; Spivak, Marla

    2012-01-01

    The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed "social immunity." One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB). Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self-medication by increasing the

  2. Pollination system and the effect of inflorescence size on fruit set in the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetsugu, Kenji; Naito, Risa S; Fukushima, Shigeki; Kawakita, Atsushi; Kato, Makoto

    2015-07-01

    Larger inflorescences in reward-producing plants can benefit plants by increasing both pollinator attraction and the duration of visits by individual pollinators. However, ultimately, inflorescence size is determined by the balance between the benefits of large inflorescences and the increased cost of geitonogamy. At present, little is known about the relationship between inflorescence size and fecundity in deceptive plants. Given that pollinators are likely to leave inflorescences lacking rewards quickly, it seems unlikely that longer pollinator visits and the risk of geitonogamy would be strong selective pressures in these species, which indicates that pollinator attraction might be the most important factor influencing their inflorescence size. Here we examined the pollination ecology of the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata in order to clarify the effects of inflorescence size on the fruit set of this non-rewarding species. Field observations of the floral visitors showed that C. falcata is pollinated by the andrenid bee Andrena aburana, whilst pollination experiments demonstrated that this orchid species is neither autogamous nor apogamous, but is strongly pollinator dependent. Three consecutive years of field observations revealed that fruit set was positively correlated with the number of flowers per inflorescence. These results provide strong evidence that the nectarless orchid C. falcata benefits from producing larger inflorescences that attract a greater number of innate pollinators. Large inflorescences may have a greater positive effect on fruit set in deceptive plants because a growing number of studies suggest that fruit set in reward-producing plants is usually unaffected by display size. PMID:25801274

  3. Flower-visiting behavior and pollination ecology of different bee species on greenhouse strawberry%不同蜂在温室草莓园的访花行为和传粉生态学比较

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈文锋; 安建东; 董捷; 丁克法; 高山

    2011-01-01

    A comparative study was made on the flower-visiting behavior and pollination ecology of Apis mellifera, Bombus hypocrita, and Bombus terrestris on greenhouse strawberry in Beijing.As for A. mellifera, the temperature at which the bee left nest, temperature for initial working,visiting duration on a single flower, and time interval between visiting two flowers were all significantly higher ( P<0. 01 ), compared with B. hypocrita or B. terrestris, while the latter two bee species had no significant differences in these behaviors ( P>0. 05 ). The proportion of the pollens carried to the nest by the three bee species ranked as A. mellifera > B. hypocrita > B. terrestris, and the activity of the pollens carried by the bees ranked as A. mellifera > B. hypocrita =B. terrestris. The initial working time of B. hypocrita and B. terrestris was earlier than that of A. mellifera, and the working time within a day was longer for B. hypocrita and B. terrestris than for A. mellifera. B. terrestris had the highest working frequency within a day ( P<0. 01 ). The nutritional quality of the fruits via the pollination by the three bee species showed no significant difference ( P>0. 05 ) with the control, but after the pollination, the strawberry had a lower rate of malformed fruit and a higher single fruit weight than the control. The strawberry visited by B. hypocrita and B. terrestris had a lower rate of malformed fruit than that visited by A. mellifera (P<0. 05 ). For the pollination of greenhouse strawberry, native bumble bee species B. hypocrita could be effectively used in place of introduced A. mellifera or B. terrestris.%应用意大利蜜蜂、本土小峰熊蜂和引自欧洲的地熊蜂3种蜂在北京为温室草莓传粉,对其传粉行为和生态特性进行研究.结果表明:意大利蜜蜂的出巢温度、工作起点温度、平均单花停留时间和访花间隔时间均显著高于小峰熊蜂和地熊蜂(P0.05);3种蜂携带花粉回巢的比例

  4. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Charles F.; Acosta, André L.; Dorneles, Andressa L.; dos Santos, Patrick D. S.; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  5. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Charles F; Acosta, André L; Dorneles, Andressa L; Dos Santos, Patrick D S; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  6. Floral nectar guide patterns discourage nectar robbing by bumble bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne S Leonard

    Full Text Available Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant's reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called "nectar robbing" because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees' (Bombus impatiens propensity to rob or access nectar "legitimately." We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees' flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant.

  7. Genomic Analyses of the Microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an Emergent Pathogen of Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Cornman, R. Scott; Chen, Yan Ping; Schatz, Michael C; Street, Craig; Yan ZHAO; Desany, Brian; Egholm, Michael; Hutchison, Stephen; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Lipkin, W. Ian; Evans, Jay D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB) of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models a...

  8. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    OpenAIRE

    R. Scott Cornman; Yan Ping Chen; Schatz, Michael C; Craig Street; Yan Zhao; Brian Desany; Michael Egholm; Stephen Hutchison; Pettis, Jeffery S.; W Ian Lipkin; Evans, Jay D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB) of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models a...

  9. HONEY BEES–POTENTIAL POLLINATORS IN HYBRID SEED PRODUCTION OF SUNFLOWER

    OpenAIRE

    M. Rajasri; K. Kanakadurga; V.Durga Rani; Ch. Anuradha

    2012-01-01

    A study was conducted to find out the role of honeybees on pollination, seed setting and seedquality of hybrid sunflower. The foraging behavior of natural bee visitants was studied on the parental lines ofsunflower hybrid NDSH1 during the flowering period. Most predominant bees observed are Rock bees, Apisdorsata, European bee, Apis mellifera,Indian bee, Apis cerana indica and Stingless bees, Trigona irridipenis.Bee visitants are more on R line compared to A line. The seed setting percentage ...

  10. Extended hypoxia in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, increases survival but causes sub-lethal effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelrahman, H; Rinehart, J P; Yocum, G D; Greenlee, K J; Helm, B R; Kemp, W P; Schulz, C H; Bowsher, J H

    2014-05-01

    Many insects are tolerant of hypoxic conditions, but survival may come at a cost to long-term health. The alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, develops in brood cells inside natural cavities, and may be exposed to hypoxic conditions for extended periods of time. Whether M. rotundata is tolerant of hypoxia, and whether exposure results in sub-lethal effects, has never been investigated. Overwintering M. rotundata prepupae were exposed to 10%, 13%, 17%, 21% and 24% O2 for 11 months. Once adults emerged, five indicators of quality - emergence weight, body size, feeding activity, flight performance, and adult longevity, - were measured to determine whether adult bees that survived past exposure to hypoxia were competent pollinators. M. rotundata prepupae are tolerant of hypoxic condition and have higher survival rates in hypoxia, than in normoxia. Under hypoxia, adult emergence rates did not decrease over the 11 months of the experiment. In contrast, bees reared in normoxia had decreased emergence rates by 8 months, and were dead by 11 months. M. rotundata prepupae exposed to extended hypoxic conditions had similar emergence weight, head width, and cross-thorax distance compared to bees reared in standard 21% oxygen. Despite no significant morphological differences, hypoxia-exposed bees had lower feeding rates and shorter adult lifespans. Hypoxia may play a role in post-diapause physiology of M. rotundata, with prepupae showing better survival under hypoxic conditions. Extended exposure to hypoxia, while not fatal, causes sub-lethal effects in feeding rates and longevity in the adults, indicating that hypoxia tolerance comes at a cost. PMID:24662466

  11. Native insect pollinators in Apple orchards under different management practices in the Kashmir Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffar Ahmad Ganie

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available It is now clear that over use of pesticides and intensive management of orchards can lead to drastic declines in apple pollinator abundance and crop failures. During the period of study a grower’s survey was conducted to know about knowledge of farmers on native insect pollinators, pollinator management practices, their perceptions of the importance and utility of native pollinators, and their attitudes regarding pesticide application. Despite of having significant knowledge of managed pollination, only few farmers (2% adopted supplementary methods of pollination (renting honey bee colonies, hand pollination etc.. In Pulwama, 60% of farmers had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 40% did not have any idea of native pollinators and in case of Shopian, the figures were fifty-fifty i.e. 50% had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 50% were unaware. During the period of investigation, native insect pollinators were sampled from different apple orchards under different management systems in early spring during apple flowering. A total of 17 species of insect pollinators belonging to 11 families and 3 orders_ Hymenoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera registered their occurrence at all the studied apple orchards of the Kashmir Valley. At all the study sites i.e. apple orchards under different management systems, family Halictidae and Empididae registered their presence as dominant groups. The % family contribution of the former at different orchard types decreased with increase in the intensity of the management system and the % family contribution of the later however, showed a direct relationship with the management system found, i.e. the more intense the system, the more abundant was the group. Other groups in general did not show any greater differences in abundances at different sites studied.

  12. A strong immune response in young adult honeybees masks their increased susceptibility to infection compared to older bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Bull

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance ("housekeeping" tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger "house" bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infection bioassay with a functional analysis of gene expression in individual bees using a whole genome microarray. Forager bees treated with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. survived for significantly longer than house bees. This was concomitant with substantial differences in gene expression including genes associated with immune function. In house bees, infection was associated with differential expression of 35 candidate immune genes contrasted with differential expression of only two candidate immune genes in forager bees. For control bees (i.e. not treated with M. anisopliae the development from the house to the forager stage was associated with differential expression of 49 candidate immune genes, including up-regulation of the antimicrobial peptide gene abaecin, plus major components of the Toll pathway, serine proteases, and serpins. We infer that reduced pathogen susceptibility in forager bees was associated with age-related activation of specific immune system pathways. Our findings contrast with the view that the immunocompetence in social insects declines with the onset of foraging as a result of a trade-off in the allocation of resources for foraging. The up-regulation of immune-related genes in young adult bees in response to M. anisopliae infection was an indicator of disease susceptibility; this also challenges previous research in social insects, in which an elevated immune status has been used as a marker of increased

  13. Specialist pollinators deplete pollen in the spring ephemeral wildflower Claytonia virginica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Alison J; Williams, Neal M; Thomson, James D

    2016-08-01

    Pollinators that collect pollen - and specifically, pollen-specialist bees - are often considered to be the best pollinators of a (host) plant. Although pollen collectors and pollen specialists often benefit host plants, especially in the pollen that they deliver (their pollination "effectiveness"), they can also exact substantial costs because they are motivated to collect as much pollen as possible, reducing the proportion of pollen removed that is subsequently delivered to stigmas (their pollination "efficiency"). From the plant perspective, pollen grains that do not pollinate conspecific stigmas are "wasted", and potentially costly. We measured costs and benefits of nectar-collecting, pollen-collecting, and pollen-specialist pollinator visitation to the spring ephemeral Claytonia virginica. Visits by the pollen-specialist bee Andrena erigeniae depleted pollen quickly and thoroughly. Although all pollinators delivered roughly the same number of grains, the pollen specialist contributed most to C. virginica pollen delivery because of high visitation rates. However, the pollen specialist also removed a large number of grains; this removal may be especially costly because it resulted in the depletion of pollen grains in C. virginica populations. While C. virginica appears to rely on pollen transfer by the pollen specialist in these populations, nectar-collecting visitors could provide the same benefit at a lower cost if their visitation rates increased. Pollen depletion affects a pollinator's value to plants, but is frequently overlooked. If they lower the effectiveness of future floral visitors, visits by A. erigeniae females to C. virginica may be more detrimental than beneficial compared to other pollinators and may, in some circumstances, reduce plant fitness rather than increase it. Therefore, A. erigeniae and C. virginica may vary in their degree of mutualism depending on the ecological context. PMID:27551374

  14. Breeding system and pollination biology of paeonia delavayi (peaoniaceae), an endangered plant in the southwest of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breeding system and pollination biology of Paeonia delavayi (Peaoniaceae) from Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, southwest of China were studied. Flowering phenologies and flower visitors were observed or collected from 2008 to 2011. The pollen viability, stigma receptivity and pollination efficiency of different visitors were detected and tested. The florescence lasted for 6- 9d in a single flower from mid-May to late June. A high percentage of flower damage promoted early anther dehiscence. Flowers started disseminating pollen at 1-2 d after flowering, and lasted for 5-6 d. Pollen viability could be preserved for more than 10 d at normal temperature. High seed rate from the stigma was observed at 1 d before flowering to 3d after flowering, and the dissemination hysteresis was defined as protogyny. The P/O ratios were 6,124 to 9,713:1, suggesting that the larger quantity of pollen to increased the seed setting rate. Three species of bees, eight species of beetles, seven species of syrphid flies, four species of ants, and three species of butterflies were observed on the flowers. P. delavayi rewarded to the visitors by releasing fragrance, providing pollen and nectar. On the bodies of the visitors under stereomicroscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM), much pollen from the plants of similar flowering period inner community were found which indicated that these incompatible visitors were not species-specific pollinators. The bagging experiments showed that P. delavayi was selfincompatible and no apomixes. Anemophily only played a minor role in the fertilization. A few seeds with poor plumpness can be produced by geitonogamy. Seed setting rate of artificial xenogamy was higher than natural pollination. Artificial control of the visitors' species showed bees being the most important pollinators. Beetles and ants participated in pollination to someextent and were unstable. Syrphid flies and butterflies were very unreliable with low pollination efficiency

  15. Multiple shifts to different pollinators fuelled rapid diversification in sexually deceptive Ophrys orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitkopf, Hendrik; Onstein, Renske E; Cafasso, Donata; Schlüter, Philipp M; Cozzolino, Salvatore

    2015-07-01

    Episodes of rapid speciation provide unique insights into evolutionary processes underlying species radiations and patterns of biodiversity. Here we investigated the radiation of sexually deceptive bee orchids (Ophrys). Based on a time-calibrated phylogeny and by means of ancestral character reconstruction and divergence time estimation, we estimated the tempo and mode of this radiation within a state-dependent evolutionary framework. It appears that, in the Pleistocene, the evolution of Ophrys was marked by episodes of rapid diversification coinciding with shifts to different pollinator types: from wasps to Eucera bees to Andrena and other bees. An abrupt increase in net diversification rate was detected in three clades. Among these, two phylogenetically distant lineages switched from Eucera to Andrena and other bees in a parallel fashion and at about the same time in their evolutionary history. Lack of early radiation associated with the evolution of the key innovation of sexual deception suggests that Ophrys diversification was mainly driven by subsequent ecological opportunities provided by the exploitation of novel pollinator groups, encompassing many bee species slightly differing in their sex pheromone communication systems, and by spatiotemporal fluctuations in the pollinator mosaic.

  16. Enhancing legume ecosystem services through an understanding of plant-pollinator interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose eSuso

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI, in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: 1 optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and 2 biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the pest control service and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: a Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP and b Crop Design System (CDS.

  17. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant-Pollinator Interplay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suso, María J; Bebeli, Penelope J; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; Negri, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: (1) optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and (2) biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the "pest control service" and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: (a) Farming with Alternative Pollinators and (b) Crop Design System. PMID:27047514

  18. Pollination efficiency of the stingless bee Melipona subnitida on greenhouse sweet pepper Eficiência de polinização da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida na cultura do pimentão em casa de vegetação

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darci de Oliveira Cruz

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out in Northeastern Region of Brazil, in order to investigate the use of stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke in the pollination of greenhouse sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.. Treatments of hand cross-pollination, hand self-pollination, pollination by bees and restricted pollination were performed. Results showed that despite sweet pepper flowers are considered autogamous, this crop benefits from pollination by M. subnitida, producing fruits significantly heavier and wider, containing a greater number of seeds and of better quality (lower percentage of malformed fruits than self-pollinated sweet pepper. Thus, M. subnitida can be considered an efficient pollinator of greenhouse sweet pepper.O objetivo deste trabalho foi investigar o uso da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida Ducke, na polinização de flores de pimentão (Capsicum annuum L., sob cultivo protegido, na Região Nordeste do Brasil. Foram comparados tratamentos de polinização cruzada manual, polinização por abelhas, autopolinização manual e polinização restrita. Os resultados mostraram que apesar de as flores de pimentão serem consideradas autógamas, essa cultura beneficia-se da polinização realizada por M. subnitida, produzindo frutos significativamente mais pesados e mais largos, com um número maior de sementes e de melhor qualidade (baixo porcentual de frutos deformados, quando comparada com a cultura autopolinizada. Portanto, M. subnitida pode ser considerada uma polinizadora eficiente de pimentão em casa de vegetação.

  19. 78 FR 10167 - Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-13

    ... AGENCY Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of... during coming and future growing seasons. This meeting complements EPA's ongoing work through the... techniques associated with commercial agriculture and bees. This summit complements EPA's on-going work...

  20. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming Hua; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline K; Tarpy, David R; Rueppell, Olav

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees. PMID:27422326

  1. Use of Radioactive Gold, 198AU, to Study the Radius of Action of Colonies of Bumble-Bees (Bombus Sp.) with a View to Pollination of Cultivated Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It is generally very easy to label a colony with a radioisotope, taking advantage of the constant exchange of food between individuals. Bumble-bees, although living in a colony, do not engage in direct exchange, but it has been shown that continual transfer takes place through the honey cells (secondary trophallaxia). In these conditions a bumble-bee colony can be labelled as easily as a hive of bees. Gold-198 was successfully used for the tests, which enabled us to obtain important and unpublished information on the behaviour of workers in bumble-bee colonies situated close to fields of leguminous crops, with a view to enhancing grain production. Questions that have been investigated by this method include the time required to become familiarized to a new site, fixation on a particular species of plant, the radius of action and the determinate character of the flight paths and the honey-gathering sectors. (author)

  2. Imidacloprid-induced impairment of mushroom bodies and behavior of the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Martins, Gustavo F; Lima, Maria Augusta P; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their

  3. Imidacloprid-induced impairment of mushroom bodies and behavior of the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hudson Vaner V Tomé

    Full Text Available Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i./bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators

  4. Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelley R Rogers

    Full Text Available Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity. Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

  5. Niche partitioning due to adaptive foraging reverses effects of nestedness and connectance on pollination network stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Brosi, Berry J; Briggs, Heather M; Moisset de Espanés, Pablo; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Martinez, Neo D

    2016-10-01

    Much research debates whether properties of ecological networks such as nestedness and connectance stabilise biological communities while ignoring key behavioural aspects of organisms within these networks. Here, we computationally assess how adaptive foraging (AF) behaviour interacts with network architecture to determine the stability of plant-pollinator networks. We find that AF reverses negative effects of nestedness and positive effects of connectance on the stability of the networks by partitioning the niches among species within guilds. This behaviour enables generalist pollinators to preferentially forage on the most specialised of their plant partners which increases the pollination services to specialist plants and cedes the resources of generalist plants to specialist pollinators. We corroborate these behavioural preferences with intensive field observations of bee foraging. Our results show that incorporating key organismal behaviours with well-known biological mechanisms such as consumer-resource interactions into the analysis of ecological networks may greatly improve our understanding of complex ecosystems. PMID:27600659

  6. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  7. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-02-25

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens.

  8. Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Zolfagharian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Bee venom (BV is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50, and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE. Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD values of BV were determined. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa, respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro.

  9. Hand pollination to increase seed-set of red helleborine Cephalanthera rubra in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, England

    OpenAIRE

    Newman, R. D.; Showler, A. J.; Harvey, M. C.; Showler, D. A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2007 and in previous years, as part of ongoing attempts to improve red helleborine Cephalanthera rubra seed-set, hand pollination of florets has been undertaken at a small colony of this species in Buckinghamshire, southern England. Natural pollination rarely occurs (one mature pod recorded in 10 years) at this site. In 2007, hand pollination resulted in the production of four seed pods, of which one withered and died. Upon ripening, the three remaining pods were removed for attempted micr...

  10. Contrasting bee pollination in two co-occurring distylic species of Cordia (Cordiaceae, Boraginales in the Brazilian semi-arid Caatinga: generalist in C. globosa vs. specialist in C. leucocephala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C. Machado

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we compare the reproductive biology of Cordia globosa and C. leucocephala (Cordiaceae, Boraginales; formerly referred to Boraginaceae to understand the functioning of the floral morphs and the relations with their effective pollinators. The species are synchronopatric, distylic, and self-incompatible. Though they share melittophilous traits, the main visitor and pollinator of C. globosa was the generalist and exotic bee Apis mellifera, while the only one of C. leucocephala was the oligoletic bee Ceblurgus longipalpis. These two latter species are restricted to the Caatinga of NE Brazil, contrasting with the wide distribution of Cordia globosa. While the fruit-set for C. globosa was high, independently if the pollen donor/stigma receptor was a pin (long-styled or thrum (short-styled individual, in C. leucocephala the fruit-set was low and occurred only when a thrum individual was the pollen donor. This raises the possibility of this species moving towards dioecy. The high natural fruit-set of C. globosa confirms the generalist bee as its effective pollinator. The low fruit-set after manual crosses in C. leucocephala may be due to low pollen viability. Additionally, the low natural fruit-set (two times lower than after crosses may be related with the foraging behavior of the specialist pollinator.Neste estudo comparamos a biologia reprodutiva de Cordia globosa e C. leucocephala para entender a função dos orfos florais e as relações com seus polinizadores efetivos. As espécies são sincronopátricas, distílicas e auto-incompatíveis. Embora elas compartilhem atributos melitófilos, o principal visitante e polinizador de C. globosa foi Apis mellifera, abelha generalista e exótica, enquanto o de C. leucocephala foi a abelha oligolética Ceblurgus longipalpis. Essas duas últimas espécies são restritas à Caatinga do Nordeste do Brasil, contrastando com a ampla distribuição de C. globosa. Enquanto a formação de frutos de C

  11. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Torres

    Full Text Available Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

  12. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M. P. D.; Breeze, T. D.; Boreux, V.; Coston, D. J.; Jenner, N.; Dean, R.; Westbury, D. B.; Biesmeijer, J. C.; Potts, S. G.

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  13. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M P D; Breeze, T D; Boreux, V; Fountain, M T; McKerchar, M; Webber, S M; Coston, D J; Jenner, N; Dean, R; Westbury, D B; Biesmeijer, J C; Potts, S G

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  14. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species

    Science.gov (United States)

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important native pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, alt...

  15. Urban land use limits regional bumble bee gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, C

    2013-05-01

    Potential declines in native pollinator communities and increased reliance on pollinator-dependent crops have raised concerns about native pollinator conservation and dispersal across human-altered landscapes. Bumble bees are one of the most effective native pollinators and are often the first to be extirpated in human-altered habitats, yet little is known about how bumble bees move across fine spatial scales and what landscapes promote or limit their gene flow. In this study, we examine regional genetic differentiation and fine-scale relatedness patterns of the yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, to investigate how current and historic habitat composition impact gene flow. We conducted our study across a landscape mosaic of natural, agricultural and urban/suburban habitats, and we show that B. vosnesenskii exhibits low but significant levels of differentiation across the study system (F(ST) = 0.019, D(est) = 0.049). Most importantly, we reveal significant relationships between pairwise F(ST) and resistance models created from contemporary land use maps. Specifically, B. vosnesenskii gene flow is most limited by commercial, industrial and transportation-related impervious cover. Finally, our fine-scale analysis reveals significant but declining relatedness between individuals at the 1-9 km spatial scale, most likely due to local queen dispersal. Overall, our results indicate that B. vosnesenskii exhibits considerable local dispersal and that regional gene flow is significantly limited by impervious cover associated with urbanization.

  16. Constructing a Species Database and Historic Range Maps for North American Bumble Bees (Bombus sensu stricto Latreille) to Inform Conservation Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees (Bombus Latrielle) are some of the most important native pollinators in North America, pollinating both wild flowers and agricultural crops often where other pollinators such as honey bees are absent. In the last decade at least six North American species of bumble bees (Bombus Latreill...

  17. A fluorescent method for visualization of Nosema infection in whole-mount honey bee tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators in both agricultural and ecological settings. The Nosema species, ceranae and apis, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees. While current methods for detecting Nosema infection have key merits, additional techniques with novel properties for studying the cell biology of Nosema infection are highly desirable. We demonstrate that whole-mount staining of honey bee midgut tissue with chitin-binding agent Fluorescent Brightener 28 and DNA dye Propidium Iodide allows for observation of Nosema infection in structurally intact tissue, providing a new tool for increasing our understanding of Nosema infection at the cellular and tissue level. PMID:26802732

  18. Foraging responses of bumble bees to rewardless floral patches: importance of within-plant variance in nectar presentation

    OpenAIRE

    Nakamura, Shoko; Kudo, Gaku

    2016-01-01

    Nectar foraging pollinators flexibly respond to the reward condition of floral patches. To evaluate the effects of unrewarding experience, we compared foraging behaviours of bumble bees between naturally rewarding and artificially rewardless (i.e., nectary removed) patches in aconite populations. Bees increased movements between inflorescences instead of leaving the patches when they faced rewardless flowers. Because the nectar reward was highly variable among flowers within plants in the aco...

  19. The Effects of Crop Intensification on the Diversity of Native Pollinator Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Rand, Tatyana A; Fausti, Scott W; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-08-01

    Increases in agricultural conversion are leading to declines in native grasslands and natural resources critical for beneficial insects. However, little is known regarding how these changes affect pollinator diversity. Land use types were categorized within 300 m and 3 km radii of pollinator sampling locations in Brookings County, SD. Pollinator abundance and species richness were regressed on the proportion of the landscape dedicated to row crops, grass and pasture, forage crops, small grains, and aquatic habitats using variance components modeling. Row crops had a negative effect on bee abundance at 300 m, after fixed effects modeling accounted for outliers skewing this relationship. At 3 km, corn positively affected bee abundance and richness, while soybean acreage decreased species richness. The landscape matrix of outlying sites consisted of large monocultured areas with few alternative habitat types available, leading to inflated populations of Melissodes and Halictidae. Syrphids had a positive parabolic relationship between diversity and row crops, indicating potential for competitive exclusion from intermediate landscapes. Unlike other studies, landscape diversity within 300 m was not found to significantly benefit pollinator diversity. Within especially agriculturally developed areas of the region, high abundances of pollinators suggest selection for a few dominant species. There was no effect of forage crops or aquatic habitats on pollinator diversity, indicating that less highly managed areas still represent degraded habitat within the landscape. Incorporating pollinator-friendly crops at the farm level throughout the region is likely to enhance pollinator diversity by lessening the negative effects of large monocultures. PMID:27271948

  20. Pollination of Greenhouse Tomatoes by the Mexican bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Hernan Vergara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican native bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus Say was evaluated as a potential pollinator of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon L.. The experiments were performed at San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, from June to December 2004 in two 1 000 m2 greenhouses planted with tomatoes of the cultivar Mallory (Hazera ®. For the experiments, we used two colonies of Bombus ephippiatus, reared in the laboratory from queens captured in the field. Four treatments were applied to 20 study plants: pollination by bumble bees, manual pollination, pollination by mechanical vibration and no pollination (bagged flowers, no vibration. We measured percentage of flowers visited by bumble bees, number of seeds per fruit, maturing time, sugar content, fruit weight and fruit shape. All available flowers were visited by bumblebees, as measured by the degree of anther cone bruising. The number of seeds per fruit was higher for bumble bee-pollinated plants as compared with plants pollinated mechanically or not pollinated and was not significantly different between hand-pollinated and bumble bee-pollinated plants. Maturation time was significantly longer and sugar content, fresh weight and seed count were significantly higher for bumblebee pollinated flowers than for flowers pollinated manually or with no supplemental pollination, but did not differ with flowers pollinated mechanically.

  1. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switanek, Matt; Brodschneider, Robert; Crailsheim, Karl; Truhetz, Heimo

    2015-04-01

    Global food production, as it is today, is not possible without pollinators such as the honey bee. It is therefore alarming that honey bee populations across the world have seen increased mortality rates in the last few decades. The challenges facing the honey bee calls into question the future of our food supply. Beside various infectious diseases, Varroa destructor is one of the main culprits leading to increased rates of honey bee mortality. Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite which strongly depends on honey bee brood for reproduction and can wipe out entire colonies. However, climate variability may also importantly influence honey bee breeding cycles and bee mortality rates. Persistent weather events affects vegetation and hence foraging possibilities for honey bees. This study first defines critical statistical relationships between key climate indicators (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and bee mortality rates across Austria, using 6 consecutive years of data. Next, these leading indicators, as they vary in space and time, are used to build a statistical model to predict bee mortality rates and the respective number of colonies affected. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 21% with respect to predictions made with the mean mortality rate and the number of colonies. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo test is used to establish that the model's predictions are statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. These results highlight the influence of climate variables on honey bee populations, although variability in climate, by itself, cannot fully explain colony losses. This study was funded by the Austrian project 'Zukunft Biene'.

  2. Pollination, seed set and fruit quality in apple: studies with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cory Silas Sheffield

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The orchard crop pollinator Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae was evaluated for apple pollination in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada during 2000-2001. Resulting pollination levels (measured as pollen grains on floral stigmas, percent fruit set, mature fruit weight and seed yield were evaluated against an attempted gradient of Osmia bee density. In addition, fruit quality was assessed using two symmetry indices, one based on fruit diameter, the second on fruit height. Pollination levels, percent fruit set and mature fruit quality were much higher than minimums required for adequate crop production, and all but pollination levels showed weak but significant decreases at increased distance from the established nests, suggesting that even at low numbers these bees may have been making significant contributions to apple production. Fruit were typically of better quality in areas of the orchard adjacent to Osmia nests, having fewer empty carpels and greater symmetry; fruit quality (i.e., symmetry is typically most reduced when two or more adjacent carpels are empty. Empty carpels reduce growth in fruit height rather than diameter, suggesting that symmetry indices using fruit diameter are not sensitive enough to evaluate fruit quality. Evidencing this, fruit without mature seeds observed in this study showed high symmetry based on diameter, but were greatly asymmetric with respect to fruit height. Further discussion on Osmia bees as apple pollinators and on methods of evaluating apple fruit quality with respect to seed distribution within the apple fruit are provided.

  3. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Sáez

    Full Text Available Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus. We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services.

  4. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Agustín; Sabatino, Malena; Aizen, Marcelo A

    2012-01-01

    Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha) of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide) strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus). We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group) at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services. PMID:22303477

  5. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    OpenAIRE

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees are one of the most important insects useful to human beings. They provide us with several biological products such as honey and wax, but more importantly carries out the invaluable laborious work of pollination. The honey bee industry in Europe and elsewhere has been plagued by recently introduced pests such as varroa mites and subsequent rise of viruses which has resulted in widespread decline of bee population. Of the numerous pathogens of honey bees that are being studied, viru...

  6. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  7. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  8. Reconnecting plants and pollinators: challenges in the restoration of pollination mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menz, Myles H M; Phillips, Ryan D; Winfree, Rachael; Kremen, Claire; Aizen, Marcelo A; Johnson, Steven D; Dixon, Kingsley W

    2011-01-01

    Ecological restoration of plant-pollinator interactions has received surprisingly little attention, despite animal-mediated pollination underpinning reproduction of the majority of higher plants. Here, we offer a conceptual and practical framework for the ecological restoration of pollination mutualisms. Through the use of targeted restoration plantings to attract and sustain pollinators and increased knowledge of the ecological requirements of pollinators, we propose that pollination could be successfully restored in degraded ecosystems. The challenge for pollination biologists is to integrate their findings with those of plant restoration ecologists to ensure sustainable pollination in restored ecosystems. PMID:20980193

  9. Parallel declines in pollinators and insect-pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biesmeijer, J C; Roberts, S P M; Reemer, M; Ohlemüller, R; Edwards, M; Peeters, T; Schaffers, A P; Potts, S G; Kleukers, R; Thomas, C D; Settele, J; Kunin, W E

    2006-07-21

    Despite widespread concern about declines in pollination services, little is known about the patterns of change in most pollinator assemblages. By studying bee and hoverfly assemblages in Britain and the Netherlands, we found evidence of declines (pre-versus post-1980) in local bee diversity in both countries; however, divergent trends were observed in hoverflies. Depending on the assemblage and location, pollinator declines were most frequent in habitat and flower specialists, in univoltine species, and/or in nonmigrants. In conjunction with this evidence, outcrossing plant species that are reliant on the declining pollinators have themselves declined relative to other plant species. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest a causal connection between local extinctions of functionally linked plant and pollinator species.

  10. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    Honey bees are important insects for human welfare, due to pollination as well as honey production. Viral diseases strongly impact honey bee health, especially since the spread of varroa mites. This dissertation deals with the interactions between honey bees, viruses and varroa mites. A new tool...... was developed to diagnose three viruses in honey bees. Quantitative PCR was used to investigate the distribution of two popular viruses in five different tissues of 86 honey bee queens. Seasonal variation of viral infection in honey bee workers and varroa mites were determined by sampling 23 colonies under...

  11. Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg K S Andersson

    Full Text Available Pollination of insect pollinated crops has been found to be correlated to pollinator abundance and diversity. Since organic farming has the potential to mitigate negative effects of agricultural intensification on biodiversity, it may also benefit crop pollination, but direct evidence of this is scant. We evaluated the effect of organic farming on pollination of strawberry plants focusing on (1 if pollination success was higher on organic farms compared to conventional farms, and (2 if there was a time lag from conversion to organic farming until an effect was manifested. We found that pollination success and the proportion of fully pollinated berries were higher on organic compared to conventional farms and this difference was already evident 2-4 years after conversion to organic farming. Our results suggest that conversion to organic farming may rapidly increase pollination success and hence benefit the ecosystem service of crop pollination regarding both yield quantity and quality.

  12. Correlations between environmental factors and wild bee behavior on alfalfa (Medicago sativa) in northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaojuan; Liu, Hongping; Li, Xiaoxia; Song, Yu; Chen, Li; Jin, Liang

    2009-10-01

    To discover the effect of environmental factors on pollinator visitation to flowering Medicago sativa, several field experiments were designed to examine the diurnal movement patterns of wild bee species in the Hexi Corridor of northwestern China. Our study results showed that Megachile abluta, M. spissula, and Xylocopa valga showed unimodal diurnal foraging behavior, whereas Andrena parvula and Anthophora melanognatha showed bimodal diurnal foraging behavior. Correlation analysis indicated that diurnal foraging activities of pollinators were significantly correlated with environmental factors. Correlations of foraging activities versus environmental factors for M. abluta, M. spissula, and X. valga best fit a linear model, whereas those of A. parvula and A. melanognatha best fit a parallel quadratic model. Results of this study indicated that solitary wild bees such as M. abluta, M. spissula, X. valga, A. parvula, and A. melanognatha are potential alfalfa pollinators in the Hexi Corridor. An understanding of the environmental factors that affect the behaviors of different wild bees foraging in alfalfa are basic to the utilization of solitary wild bees in a practical way for increased, or more consistent, pollination of alfalfa for seed production. PMID:19825303

  13. Modelling food and population dynamics in honey bee colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Khoury

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we present a compartment model of bee population dynamics to explore how food availability and bee death rates interact to determine colony growth and development. Our model uses simple differential equations to represent the transitions of eggs laid by the queen to brood, then hive bees and finally forager bees, and the process of social inhibition that regulates the rate at which hive bees begin to forage. We assume that food availability can influence both the number of brood successfully reared to adulthood and the rate at which bees transition from hive duties to foraging. The model predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping colony fate. Low death rates and high food availability results in stable bee populations at equilibrium (with population size strongly determined by forager death rate but consistently increasing food reserves. At higher death rates food stores in a colony settle at a finite equilibrium reflecting the balance of food collection and food use. When forager death rates exceed a critical threshold the colony fails but residual food remains. Our model presents a simple mathematical framework for exploring the interactions of food and forager mortality on colony fate, and provides the mathematical basis for more involved simulation models of hive performance.

  14. Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleijn, David; Winfree, Rachael; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Henry, Mickaël; Isaacs, Rufus; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kremen, Claire; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Rader, Romina; Ricketts, Taylor H; Williams, Neal M; Lee Adamson, Nancy; Ascher, John S; Báldi, András; Batáry, Péter; Benjamin, Faye; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Blitzer, Eleanor J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brand, Mariëtte R; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Button, Lindsey; Cariveau, Daniel P; Chifflet, Rémy; Colville, Jonathan F; Danforth, Bryan N; Elle, Elizabeth; Garratt, Michael P D; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Howlett, Brad G; Jauker, Frank; Jha, Shalene; Knop, Eva; Krewenka, Kristin M; Le Féon, Violette; Mandelik, Yael; May, Emily A; Park, Mia G; Pisanty, Gideon; Reemer, Menno; Riedinger, Verena; Rollin, Orianne; Rundlöf, Maj; Sardiñas, Hillary S; Scheper, Jeroen; Sciligo, Amber R; Smith, Henrik G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thorp, Robbin; Tscharntke, Teja; Verhulst, Jort; Viana, Blandina F; Vaissière, Bernard E; Veldtman, Ruan; Ward, Kimiora L; Westphal, Catrin; Potts, Simon G

    2015-06-16

    There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to crop production is significant, service delivery is restricted to a limited subset of all known bee species. Across crops, years and biogeographical regions, crop-visiting wild bee communities are dominated by a small number of common species, and threatened species are rarely observed on crops. Dominant crop pollinators persist under agricultural expansion and many are easily enhanced by simple conservation measures, suggesting that cost-effective management strategies to promote crop pollination should target a different set of species than management strategies to promote threatened bees. Conserving the biological diversity of bees therefore requires more than just ecosystem-service-based arguments.

  15. Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Polce

    Full Text Available Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the world's major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their availability to pollinate crops; however, in general, we have an incomplete knowledge of where these pollinators occur. We propose a method to predict geographical patterns of pollination service to crops, novel in two elements: the use of pollinator records rather than expert knowledge to predict pollinator occurrence, and the inclusion of the managed pollinator supply. We integrated a maximum entropy species distribution model (SDM with an existing pollination service model (PSM to derive the availability of pollinators for crop pollination. We used nation-wide records of wild and managed pollinators (honey bees as well as agricultural data from Great Britain. We first calibrated the SDM on a representative sample of bee and hoverfly crop pollinator species, evaluating the effects of different settings on model performance and on its capacity to identify the most important predictors. The importance of the different predictors was better resolved by SDM derived from simpler functions, with consistent results for bees and hoverflies. We then used the species distributions from the calibrated model to predict pollination service of wild and managed pollinators, using field beans as a test case. The PSM allowed us to spatially characterize the contribution of wild and managed pollinators and also identify areas potentially vulnerable to low pollination service provision, which can help direct local scale interventions. This approach can be extended to investigate geographical mismatches between crop pollination demand and the availability of pollinators, resulting from environmental change or policy scenarios.

  16. Macroecology of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristian Trøjelsgaard; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2013-01-01

    this latitudinal diversity gradient scales up to entities as complex as networks is unknown.We investigated this using a dataset of 54 community-wide pollination networks and hypothesized that pollination networks would display a latitudinal and altitudinal species richness gradient, increasing...... specialization towards the tropics, and that network topology would be affected by current climate. Location Global. Methods Each network was organized as a presence/absence matrix, consisting of P plant species, A pollinator species and their links. From these matrices, network parameters were estimated...... strongly with either latitude or elevation. However, network modularity decreased significantly with latitude whereas mean number of links per plant species (Lp) and A/P ratio peaked at mid-latitude. Above 500 m a.s.l., A/P ratio decreased and mean number of links per pollinator species (La) increased with...

  17. Do managed bees drive parasite spread and emergence in wild bees?

    OpenAIRE

    Peter Graystock; Edward J. Blane; McFrederick, Quinn S.; Dave Goulson; Hughes, William O. H.

    2016-01-01

    Bees have been managed and utilised for honey production for centuries and, more recently, pollination services. Since the mid 20th Century, the use and production of managed bees has intensified with hundreds of thousands of hives being moved across countries and around the globe on an annual basis. However, the introduction of unnaturally high densities of bees to areas could have adverse effects. Importation and deployment of managed honey bee and bumblebees may be responsible for parasite...

  18. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  19. Controlled pollination in Araucaria angustifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justina Inês Anselmini

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to develop a methodology for controlled pollination of Araucaria angustifolia, aiming at the genetic improvement of the species and increased yield of pine nuts through management with supplemental pollination. A methodology of controlled pollination was developed in which several experiments were carried out in 2003-2005 period. The effects of the following parameters were evaluated: controlled pollination, amount of pollen applied per female strobilus, time of pollination, and development stage of the female strobilus during pollination on the number of pine nuts yielded per pine cone. A single controlled pollination procedure results in low yield of fully filled pine nuts, and pollination at later development stages of the female strobilus results in high yields of fully filled pine nuts per pine cone. Controlled pollination in A. angustifolia proved effective for pine nut production and its application in oriented breeding procedures will enable breeding that up until now was considered impossible in nature on account of the considerable distance between the parent plants. Controlled pollination performed twice in female strobili more than 30 mm in diameter does increase the yield of pine nuts per pine cone.

  20. From research to action: enhancing crop yield through wild pollinators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garibaldi, A.; Carvalheiro, L.G.; Leonhardt, S.D.; Aizen, M.A.; Blaauw, B.R.; Isaacs, R.; Kuhlman, M.; Kleijn, D.; Klein, A.M.; Kremen, C.; Morandin, L.; Scheper, J.A.; Winfree, R.

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence highlights the value of wild-insect species richness and abundance for crop pollination worldwide. Yet, deliberate physical importation of single species (eg European honey bees) into crop fields for pollination remains the mainstream management approach, and implementation of practi

  1. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  2. Apis mellifera pollination improves agronomic productivity of anemophilous castor bean (Ricinus communis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzardo, Rômulo A G; Milfont, Marcelo O; Silva, Eva M S da; Freitas, Breno M

    2012-12-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is cultivated mainly for biodiesel production because of its oil-rich seeds; it is assumed to be an anemophylous species. But pollination deficit can lead to low productivity often attributed to other reasons. In this paper, we investigated pollination requirements, pollination mechanism, occurrence of pollination deficit, and the role of biotic pollinators in a large commercial plantation of castor bean. Our results show that R. communis bears a mixed breeding system favoring selfing by geitonogamy, although the wind promotes mostly outcrossing. We also found that the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging on castor bean can both transfer pollen from male to female flowers within the same raceme and boost the release of airborne pollen by male flowers. Both situations increase geitonogamy rates, raising significantly fruit set and seed yield. This is the first report of an animal foraging activity increasing seed yield in an anemophilous and geitonogamous crop and elucidates the role of biotic pollinators in castor bean reproduction.

  3. Pollination services provided by wild insects to kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa)

    OpenAIRE

    Miñarro, Marcos; Twizell, Kent W.

    2015-01-01

    Managed bees are used to transfer pollen from male to female flowers in kiwifruit, but the contribution of wild insects has been long overlooked. We approached such contribution with multiple criteria (pollinator abundance, foraging behavior, pollinating efficiency, and response to weather conditions) in the absence of imported colonies. An abundant and rich community of pollinators (57 % were non-Apis insects) visited kiwifruit flowers and assured a fruit set and size not different from thos...

  4. Floral scent and pollinators of the holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Sipes, Sedonia D.; Kara E. Huff Hartz; Hardik Amin; Nickrent, Daniel L.

    2014-01-01

    Floral scent is likely important to the pollination of parasitic plants, despite that it has not been well-studied. We studied the pollination ecology of the North American stem holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae) at two field sites in Texas. To identify effective pollinators, we collected floral visitors to P. thurberi flowers, observed their foraging behavior, and looked for P. thurberi pollen on their bodies. Augochloropsis metallica bees (Halictidae) and eumenine potter wasps...

  5. Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Cranmer, Louise; Stelzer, Ralph J.; Sullivan, Steve; Chittka, Lars

    2009-02-01

    The Canary Islands are home to a guild of endemic, threatened bird-pollinated plants. Previous work has suggested that these plants evolved floral traits as adaptations to pollination by flower specialist sunbirds, but subsequently, they appear to have co-opted generalist passerine birds as sub-optimal pollinators. To test this idea, we carried out a quantitative study of the pollination biology of three of the bird-pollinated plants, Canarina canariensis (Campanulaceae), Isoplexis canariensis (Veronicaceae) and Lotus berthelotii (Fabaceae), on the island of Tenerife. Using colour vision models, we predicted the detectability of flowers to bird and bee pollinators. We measured pollinator visitation rates, nectar standing crops as well as seed-set and pollen removal and deposition. These data showed that the plants are effectively pollinated by non-flower specialist passerine birds that only occasionally visit flowers. The large nectar standing crops and extended flower longevities (>10 days) of Canarina and Isoplexis suggests that they have evolved a bird pollination system that effectively exploits these low frequency non-specialist pollen vectors and is in no way sub-optimal. Seed set in two of the three species was high and was significantly reduced or zero in flowers where pollinator access was restricted. In L. berthelotii, however, no fruit set was observed, probably because the plants were self-incompatible horticultural clones of a single genet. We also show that, while all three species are easily detectable for birds, the orange Canarina and the red Lotus (but less so the yellow-orange Isoplexis) should be difficult to detect for insect pollinators without specialised red receptors, such as bumblebees. Contrary to expectations if we accept that the flowers are primarily adapted to sunbird pollination, the chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus canariensis) was an effective pollinator of these species.

  6. Assessing the comparative risk of plant protection products to honey bees, non-target arthropods and non-Apis bees

    OpenAIRE

    Miles, Mark J.; Alix, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the European Union the placing of pesticides on the market requires as a prerequisite that a risk assessment demonstrates low risks to human health and the environment, among which includes pollinators. Currently risks are evaluated for honey bees and for non-target arthropods (NTA) of cultivated ecosystems. The actual protection of pollinators other than the honey bees, as for example for non-Apis bees, in relation to these risk assessments has recently been questioned and req...

  7. Effects of extended prepupal storage duration on adult flight physiology of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Meghan M; Petersen, Kelsey; Yocum, George; Rinehart, Joseph; Kemp, William; Greenlee, Kendra J

    2013-06-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee and is the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. Bee management practices include cold storage during the prepupal stage. Fluctuating thermal regimes during cold storage increases survival of cold storage and allows a doubling of the cold storage period with no decrease in survival. However, survival, characterized as successful adult emergence, is not qualitative. In this study, we determined whether extended storage affects adult bee respiration or flight physiology. We overwintered bees for a single winter (current management protocol) or for 12 mo longer (extended storage). We used resting and tethered flight metabolic rates and resting critical PO2 (the oxygen partial pressure below which metabolism can no longer be sustained) as indices of adult bee quality. We found no significant differences in body mass, resting or flight metabolic rates, or critical PO2 between the two groups. Together these data indicate that extended storage of M. rotundata produces bees of similar respiratory capacity and flight ability. These findings could increase the use of M. rotundata as an alternative pollinator, allowing for extended storage to time adult emergence with early blooming crops. PMID:23865171

  8. Prolonged postdiapause: influence on some indicators of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmochowska, Kamila; Giejdasz, Karol; Fliszkiewicz, Monika; Zółtowska, Krystyna

    2013-01-01

    Bees of the genus Osmia are being used in crop pollination at an increasing rate. However, a short life expectancy of adult individuals limits the feasibility of their use. Cocoons of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), can be stored at 4° C in a postdiapause state, and adult bees can be used for pollination outside their natural flight period. The period of storage in this form has an unfavorable influence on the survival rate, life expectancy, and fertility of the bee. It was suggested that the negative results are connected with exhaustion of energy reserves. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined the contents of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and the activities of some enzymes, and their degradation in red mason bees that emerged in spring according to their biological clock and in summer after elongated diapause. It was found that postdiapause artificially elongated by 3 months caused significant decreases in body weight, total sugar, glycogen, lipids, and protein content in O. rufa. Glucose level was highest in bees that emerged in the summer, which was coincident with increased activities of maltase and trehalase. The activities of sucrase and cellobiase were not changed, while amylase activity was considerably decreased. The activities of triacylglycerols lipase and C2, C4, C10 carboxylesterases were highest in bees that emerged in July. Low temperatures restrict O. rufa emergence, and during prolonged postdiapause, metabolic processes lead to significant reductions of structural and energetic compounds. PMID:24219557

  9. Pollinator biodiversity and floral resource use in Ecballium elaterium (Cucurbitaceae), a Mediterranean endemic

    OpenAIRE

    Rust, R.; Vaissière, B.E.; Westrich, P.

    2003-01-01

    International audience Pollinator biodiversity on Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. Richard was studied for 2 years at 2 sites in southern France. Six families, 15 genera, and 43 species of bees were collected from the flowers, and 33 bee species carried Ecballium pollen in their scopae. The numerically dominant species were Lasioglossum malachurum (Kirby), the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., and Ceratina cyanea (Kirby). Few pollinators were observed in 1997 due to a drought. In 1996, mean forager...

  10. Flowering dynamics and pollinator visitation of oilseed echium (Echium plantagineum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie A Eberle

    Full Text Available Echium (Echium plantagineum L. is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown or early summer (late-sown, and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha-1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L., as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha-1, which were 2-29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L..

  11. Flowering dynamics and pollinator visitation of oilseed echium (Echium plantagineum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Carrie A; Forcella, Frank; Gesch, Russ; Weyers, Sharon; Peterson, Dean; Eklund, James

    2014-01-01

    Echium (Echium plantagineum L.) is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown) or early summer (late-sown), and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest) was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha-1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha-1, which were 2-29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L.). PMID:25427071

  12. Native bees are a rich natural resource in urban California gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon W. Frankie; Thorp, Robbin; Hernandez, Jennifer; Rizzardi, Mark; Ertter, Barbara; Pawelek, Jaime C.; Witt, Sara L.; Schindler, Mary; Coville, Rollin; Wojcik, Victoria

    2009-01-01

    Evidence is mounting that pollinators of crop and wildland plants are declining worldwide. Our research group at UC Berkeley and UC Davis conducted a 3-year survey of bee pollinators in seven cities from Northern California to Southern California. Results indicate that many types of urban residential gardens provide floral and nesting resources for the reproduction and survival of bees, especially a diversity of native bees. Habitat gardening for bees, using targeted ornamental plants, can pr...

  13. Seasonal and annual variations in the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisogni, A; Rossi, M; Sgolastra, F; Bortolotti, L; Bogo, G; de Manincor, N; Quaranta, M; Galloni, M

    2016-05-01

    The interplay between insect and plant traits outlines the patterns of pollen transfer and the subsequent plant reproductive fitness. We studied the factors that affect the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L. by evaluating insect behaviour and morphological characteristics in relation to flowering phenology. In order to extrapolate the pollinator importance of single taxa and of the whole pollinator guild, we calculated an index distinguishing between potential (PPI) and realized (RPI) pollinator importance. Although the pollinator species spectrum appeared rather constant, we found high intra- and inter-annual variability of pollinator frequency and importance within the insect community. Flower visitation rate strictly depended on insect abundance and on the overlap between their flying period and flower blooming. All the pollinators visited flowers from the bottom to the top of the racemes, excluding intra-plant geitonogamous pollination, and most of them showed high pollen fidelity. Only medium large-sized bees could contact the upward bending stiles while feeding on nectar, highlighting a specialisation of the plant towards bigger pollinators. Moreover, we found evidence of functional specialisation, since all pollinators were restricted to a single taxonomic group (order: Hymenoptera; superfamily: Apoidea). Both the PPI and RPI indices indicate Habropoda tarsata as the most important pollinator of D. albus. Following hand cross-pollination experiments we revealed the presence of pollination limitation in 1 of the 3 years of field study. We discuss this result in relation to flowering abundance and to possible mismatches of phenological periods between plants and insects. PMID:26573095

  14. Responses of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Deformed wing virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The negative impact of Deformedwing virus (DWV) on European honey bees Apis mellifera is magnified by Varroa destructor parasitism. This study compared the responses of two Varroa-resistant honey bee stocks, pure Russian honey bees (RHB) and out-crossed Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees, Pol-line (POL)...

  15. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubuhn, Gretchen; Droege, Sam; Connor, Edward F.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Potts, Simon G.; Minckley, Robert L.; Griswold, Terry; Jean, Robert; Kula, Emanuel; Roubik, David W.; Cane, Jim; Wright, Karen W.; Frankie, Gordon; Parker, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in abundance of insect pollinators; thus, it is difficult to quantify the status of bee communities or estimate the extent of declines. We used data from 11 multiyear studies of bee communities to devise a program to monitor pollinators at regional, national, or international scales. In these studies, 7 different methods for sampling bees were used and bees were sampled on 3 different continents. We estimated that a monitoring program with 200-250 sampling locations each sampled twice over 5 years would provide sufficient power to detect small (2-5%) annual declines in the number of species and in total abundance and would cost U.S.$2,000,000. To detect declines as small as 1% annually over the same period would require >300 sampling locations. Given the role of pollinators in food security and ecosystem function, we recommend establishment of integrated regional and international monitoring programs to detect changes in pollinator communities.

  16. Increased carbohydrate supply in the pollen tube pathway after cross-pollination of Gasteria verrucosa (Mill.) H. Duval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemse, M.T.M.

    2000-01-01

    Gasteria has ovular incompatibility, and recognition of cross-and self-pollen takes place. Cross-pollination includes recognition and pistil activation and leads to seed set. Self-pollen germinate, and their pollen tubes penetrate the ovules but after fertilization they abort. A group of glycoprotei

  17. Pollination Ecology of Caesalpinia crista (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIShi-Jint; ZHANGDian-Xiang; LILin; CHENZhong-Yi

    2004-01-01

    The flowering phenology, pollination ecology and breeding system of Caesa/pinia crista L.were studied in Dinghushan Nature Reserve, Guangdong, China. The species started blooming in Februaryor March, then last till late April. It took about one week from first flower appearance to its full blooming,which lasted for 2-4 d. The pollen-ovule ratio was 18 000~500. The breeding system was self-incompatible,and protogynous xenogamy. Hymenoptera constituted the major group of pollinators. The pollination typeis ambophily, the species could be pollinated by wind if the pollinators were unavailable: this is the firstrecord of ambophily in the genus Caesalpinia. The floral structure adaptation to the pollinating behavior ofcarpenter bees was described. The influences of artificial treatments in pollination biological studies onthe flowering and fruiting of the plants were also discussed.

  18. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E.; Paxton, Robert J.;

    2016-01-01

    of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses......, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density...... facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies....

  19. The reproductive biology of euglossine-pollinated plants in the natural reserve Nouragues, French Guiana

    OpenAIRE

    Hentrich, Heiko

    2008-01-01

    The reproductive biology of several euglossine-pollinated species of an understory community in the natural reserve Nouragues in French Guiana were studied. The first two chapters deal with the pollination biology of three sympatric, co-flowering aroids (Anthurium sagittatum, Anthurium thrinax and Spathiphyllum humboldtii). Each of the studied species possessed a specific floral scent bouquet that attracted species-specific pollinators. The pollinators were male euglossine bees, which collect...

  20. Are bee diseases linked to pesticides? - A brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goulson, Dave; Pennacchio, Francesco; Nazzi, Francesco; Goka, Koichi; Desneux, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The negative impacts of pesticides, in particular insecticides, on bees and other pollinators have never been disputed. Insecticides can directly kill these vital insects, whereas herbicides reduce the diversity of their food resources, thus indirectly affecting their survival and reproduction. At sub-lethal level (impacting on the viability of the colonies. In addition, widespread systemic insecticides appear to have introduced indirect side effects on both honey bees and wild bumblebees, by deeply affecting their health. Immune suppression of the natural defences by neonicotinoid and phenyl-pyrazole (fipronil) insecticides opens the way to parasite infections and viral diseases, fostering their spread among individuals and among bee colonies at higher rates than under conditions of no exposure to such insecticides. This causal link between diseases and/or parasites in bees and neonicotinoids and other pesticides has eluded researchers for years because both factors are concurrent: while the former are the immediate cause of colony collapses and bee declines, the latter are a key factor contributing to the increasing negative impact of parasitic infections observed in bees in recent decades. PMID:26826357

  1. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict. PMID:25571873

  2. Pollination mechanisms in palms – a synoecological perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn

    More than 60 pollination ecological studies have been conducted on palms since Henderson’s almost 25 year old review of palm pollination. Most studies are aut-ecological studies that provide a detailed snapshot of the pollination of a limited number of palm individuals of the same species. They...... confirm that most palm inflorescences offer a loose framework for the interaction between the palms and their insect visitors. The pollinators are typically weevils (superfamily Curculionidea), rove beetles (family Staphylinidae), sweat bees (family Halictidae), stingless bees (tribe Meliponini, family...... Apidae), and flies (order Diptera). Less is known about variations in the composition of the visiting insect fauna across the geographic range of a given palm species. A number canopy studies have contributed to our understanding of palms in broader palm-pollinator networks and provided insight on the...

  3. Are pollination "syndromes" predictive? Asian dalechampia fit neotropical models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armbruster, W Scott; Gong, Yan-Bing; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2011-07-01

    Using pollination syndrome parameters and pollinator correlations with floral phenotype from the Neotropics, we predicted that Dalechampia bidentata Blume (Euphorbiaceae) in southern China would be pollinated by female resin-collecting bees between 12 and 20 mm in length. Observations in southwestern Yunnan Province, China, revealed pollination primarily by resin-collecting female Megachile (Callomegachile) faceta Bingham (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). These bees, at 14 mm in length, were in the predicted size range, confirming the utility of syndromes and models developed in distant regions. Phenotypic selection analyses and estimation of adaptive surfaces and adaptive accuracies together suggest that the blossoms of D. bidentata are well adapted to pollination by their most common floral visitors. PMID:21670584

  4. Variability in bumblebee pollination buzzes affects the quantity of pollen released from flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A; Bussière, Luc F; Souto-Vilaros, Daniel; Goulson, Dave; Mason, Andrew C; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-07-01

    Buzz-pollination is a plant strategy that promotes gamete transfer by requiring a pollinator, typically bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), to vibrate a flower's anthers in order to extract pollen. Although buzz-pollination is widespread in angiosperms with over 20,000 species using it, little is known about the functional connection between natural variation in buzzing vibrations and the amount of pollen that can be extracted from anthers. We characterized variability in the vibrations produced by Bombus terrestris bumblebees while collecting pollen from Solanum rostratum (Solanaceae), a buzz-pollinated plant. We found substantial variation in several buzzing properties both within and among workers from a single colony. As expected, some of this variation was predicted by the physical attributes of individual bumblebees: heavier workers produced buzzes of greater amplitude. We then constructed artificial "pollination buzzes" that varied in three parameters (peak frequency, peak amplitude, and duration), and stimulated S. rostratum flowers with these synthetic buzzes to quantify the relationship between buzz properties and pollen removal. We found that greater amplitude and longer duration buzzes ejected substantially more pollen, while frequency had no directional effect and only a weak quadratic effect on the amount of pollen removed. These findings suggest that foraging bumblebees may improve pollen collection by increasing the duration or amplitude of their buzzes. Moreover, given that amplitude is positively correlated with mass, preferential foraging by heavier workers is likely to result in the largest pollen yields per bee, and this could have significant consequences for the success of a colony foraging on buzz-pollinated flowers.

  5. Pollinator shifts between Ophrys sphegodes populations: might adaptation to different pollinators drive population divergence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitkopf, H; Schlüter, P M; Xu, S; Schiestl, F P; Cozzolino, S; Scopece, G

    2013-10-01

    Local adaptation to different pollinators is considered one of the possible initial stages of ecological speciation as reproductive isolation is a by-product of the divergence in pollination systems. However, pollinator-mediated divergent selection will not necessarily result in complete reproductive isolation, because incipient speciation is often overcome by gene flow. We investigated the potential of pollinator shift in the sexually deceptive orchids Ophrys sphegodes and Ophrys exaltata and compared the levels of floral isolation vs. genetic distance among populations with contrasting predominant pollinators. We analysed floral hydrocarbons as a proxy for floral divergence between populations. Floral adoption of pollinators and their fidelity was tested using pollinator choice experiments. Interpopulation gene flow and population differentiation levels were estimated using AFLP markers. The Tyrrhenian O. sphegodes population preferentially attracted the pollinator bee Andrena bimaculata, whereas the Adriatic O. sphegodes population exclusively attracted A. nigroaenea. Significant differences in scent component proportions were identified in O. sphegodes populations that attracted different preferred pollinators. High interpopulation gene flow was detected, but populations were genetically structured at species level. The high interpopulation gene flow levels independent of preferred pollinators suggest that local adaptation to different pollinators has not (yet) generated detectable genome-wide separation. Alternatively, despite extensive gene flow, few genes underlying floral isolation remain differentiated as a consequence of divergent selection. Different pollination ecotypes in O. sphegodes might represent a local selective response imposed by temporal variation in a geographical mosaic of pollinators as a consequence of the frequent disturbance regimes typical of Ophrys habitats.

  6. Bees and their products – importance for sustainable development of plants, animals and humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Koszowska

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Bees are vital to humans and the environment. They play an important role in the pollination of crops; bee products are often used as therapeutic agents in many diseases. Honey is of rich chemical composition, which determines its nutritional and medicinal properties. Therefore, it is attributed prophylactic activity against many diseases. Bee products are also a source of antioxidants. Their quality depends on the climate, environment, soil, and method of storage. Unfortunately, in the recent years there has been an increase in mortality of these beneficial insects, which is connected with the devastating human impact on the environment. This article is a review of the literature on the healing properties of bee products and their threats.

  7. Exotic Plant Infestation Is Associated with Decreased Modularity and Increased Numbers of Connectors in Mixed-Grass Prairie Pollination Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Larson

    Full Text Available The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots and Convolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvense and the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in

  8. Exotic plant infestation is associated with decreased modularity and increased numbers of connectors in mixed-grass prairie pollination networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Rabie, Paul A.; Droege, Sam; Larson, Jennifer L.; Haar, Milton

    2016-01-01

    The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots andConvolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvenseand the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested

  9. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-10-01

    Transmission among colonies is a central feature for the epidemiology of honey bee pathogens. High colony abundance may promote transmission among colonies independently of apiary layout, making colony abundance a potentially important parameter determining pathogen prevalence in populations of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies.

  10. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-10-01

    Transmission among colonies is a central feature for the epidemiology of honey bee pathogens. High colony abundance may promote transmission among colonies independently of apiary layout, making colony abundance a potentially important parameter determining pathogen prevalence in populations of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies. PMID:27444641

  11. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ola Lundin

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%, involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%, and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%. Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines.

  12. Pollination syndromes ignored

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruyama, P. K.; Oliveira, G. M.; Ferreira, Célia Maria Dias;

    2013-01-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized...... to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated using...

  13. Implications of season and management protocol on the landscape of gene regulation during diapause development in the Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    : The alfalfa leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee for commercial pollination. It is the primary pollinator of seed alfalfa, a valuable crop for dairy cow feed. Overwintering bees emerge in the spring during alfalfa bloom to mate an...

  14. Evaluating bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) diversity using malaise traps in coffee landscapes of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Even though Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica Linnaeus, Rubiaceae) can self-pollinate, bees are important pollinators, without which there is lower fruit quality and yield. We studied bee diversity in coffee agroecosystems in Costa Rica during two coffee flowering seasons (2005 and 2006). Malaise traps...

  15. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Conce...

  16. Specialized and Generalized Pollen-Collection Strategies in an Ancient Bee Lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wappler, Torsten; Labandeira, Conrad C; Engel, Michael S; Zetter, Reinhard; Grímsson, Friðgeir

    2015-12-01

    Iconic examples of insect pollination have emphasized narrowly specialized pollinator mutualisms such as figs and fig wasps and yuccas and yucca moths. However, recent attention by pollination ecologists has focused on the broad spectra of pollinated plants by generalist pollinators such as bees. Bees have great impact for formulating hypotheses regarding specialization versus generalization in pollination mutualisms. We report the pollination biology of six northern European species of an extinct tribe of pollen-basket-bearing apine bees, Electrapini, of early-middle Eocene age, examined from two deposits of 48 and 44 million years in age. These bees exhibit a pattern of generalized, incidental pollen occurring randomly on their heads, thoraces, and abdomens, obtained from diverse, nectar-bearing plants. By contrast, a more restricted suite of pollen was acquired for metatibial pollen baskets (corbiculae) of the same bee taxa from a taxonomically much narrower suite of arborescent, evergreen hosts with uniform flower structure. The stereotyped plant sources of the specialist strategy of pollen collection consisted of pentamerous, radially symmetrical flowers with a conspicuous gynoecium surrounded by prominent nectar reward, organized in structurally similar compound inflorescences. Pollen specialization in bees occurs not for efficient pollination but rather in the corbiculate Electrapini as food for bee larvae (brood) and involves packing corbiculae with moistened pollen that rapidly loses viability with age. This specialist strategy was a well-developed preference by the early Eocene, providing a geochronologic midpoint assessment of bee pollen-collection strategies.

  17. Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toufailia, Hasan M Al; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano;

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted...... by varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker bees. We quantified varroa levels, again when the colonies were broodless, 48 weeks later. During...... the summer the hygienic behaviour in each colony was quantified four times using the Freeze Killed Brood (FKB) removal assay, and ranged from 27.5 % to 100 %. Varroa population increased greatly over the season, and there was a significant negative correlation between varroa increase and FKB removal...

  18. Linking Land Cover Data and Crop Yields for Mapping and Assessment of Pollination Services in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Paracchini

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is a key ecosystem service as many crops but in particular, fruits and vegetables are partially dependent on pollinating insects to produce food for human consumption. Here we assessed how pollination services are delivered at the European scale. We used this assessment to estimate the relative contribution of wild pollinators to crop production. We developed an index of relative pollination potential, which is defined as the relative potential or relative capacity of ecosystems to support crop pollination. The model for relative pollination potential is based on the assumption that different habitats, but in particular forest edges, grasslands rich in flowers and riparian areas, offer suitable sites for wild pollinator insects. Using data of the foraging range of wild bees with short flight distances, we linked relative pollination potential to regional statistics of crop production. At aggregated EU level, the absence of insect pollination would result in a reduction of between 25% and 32% of the total production of crops which are partially dependent on insect pollination, depending on the data source used for the assessment. This production deficit decreases to 2.5% if only the relative pollination potential of a single guild of pollinators is considered. A strength of our approach is the spatially-explicit link between land cover based relative pollination potential and crop yield which enables a general assessment of the benefits that are derived from pollination services in Europe while providing insight where pollination gaps in the landscape occur.

  19. Shifts from specialised to generalised pollination systems in Miconieae (Melastomataceae) and their relation with anther morphology and seed number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, V L G; Fendrich, T G; Smidt, E C; Varassin, I G; Goldenberg, R

    2016-07-01

    Most species in Melastomataceae have poricidal anthers related to specialised bee buzz-pollination, while some have anthers with large openings associated to non-bee pollination systems. We tracked the evolution of anther morphology and seed number on the Miconieae phylogenetic tree to understand the evolutionary shifts in such pollination systems. Anther morphometric data and seed number were recorded for 54 taxa. Pollinators (bees, flies, wasps) were recorded for 20 available species. Ancestral state reconstruction was made using Maximum Likelihood from nrITS sequences. We used phylogenetic eigenvector regressions to estimate phylogenetic signal and the adaptive component for these traits. Species pollinated by bees or bees and wasps tend to have smaller pores and fruits with more seeds. Species pollinated by flies or flies and bees and/or wasps tend to have larger pores and fruits with less seeds. Independent evolution occurred three times for anthers with large pores and twice for fruits with few seeds. We detected a phylogenetic signal in both traits, and negative correlated evolution between them. In actinomorphic small-flowered Miconieae, changes in anther morphology can be related to generalisation in the pollination system incorporating flies and wasps as pollinators and lessening the importance of buzzing bees in such process. Differences in pollen removal and deposition may explain differences in anther morphology and seed number in Miconieae. PMID:26789333

  20. Shifts from specialised to generalised pollination systems in Miconieae (Melastomataceae) and their relation with anther morphology and seed number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, V L G; Fendrich, T G; Smidt, E C; Varassin, I G; Goldenberg, R

    2016-07-01

    Most species in Melastomataceae have poricidal anthers related to specialised bee buzz-pollination, while some have anthers with large openings associated to non-bee pollination systems. We tracked the evolution of anther morphology and seed number on the Miconieae phylogenetic tree to understand the evolutionary shifts in such pollination systems. Anther morphometric data and seed number were recorded for 54 taxa. Pollinators (bees, flies, wasps) were recorded for 20 available species. Ancestral state reconstruction was made using Maximum Likelihood from nrITS sequences. We used phylogenetic eigenvector regressions to estimate phylogenetic signal and the adaptive component for these traits. Species pollinated by bees or bees and wasps tend to have smaller pores and fruits with more seeds. Species pollinated by flies or flies and bees and/or wasps tend to have larger pores and fruits with less seeds. Independent evolution occurred three times for anthers with large pores and twice for fruits with few seeds. We detected a phylogenetic signal in both traits, and negative correlated evolution between them. In actinomorphic small-flowered Miconieae, changes in anther morphology can be related to generalisation in the pollination system incorporating flies and wasps as pollinators and lessening the importance of buzzing bees in such process. Differences in pollen removal and deposition may explain differences in anther morphology and seed number in Miconieae.

  1. Diversity of insect pollinators with reference to their impact on yield production of canola (Brassica napus L. in Ismailia, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soliman M. Kamel

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A study of insect pollinators and their impact on canola yield was conducted during the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 growing seasons. The study was carried out at an experimental farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Suez Canal University, Ismailia. The results revealed that 21 species of insect pollinators belonging to 14 families under four orders visited canola flowers. The abundance of Hymenoptera insects reached the maximum of 67.90%, followed by Diptera 14.97%, Coleoptera 13.61%, then Lepidoptera 2.26% as average of both seasons. In open pollination, Colletes lacunatus had the maximum percent abundance in the two seasons (30.45 and 29.34%, respectively followed by Apis mellifera (12.34 and 17.73%, respectively, compared to other bees and different pollinators. Peaks of foraging activity of both C. lacunatus and A. mellifera were mainly observed from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and they corresponded to the number of flowering plants. Open pollination increased the number of pods per plant, seeds per pod, weight of 1000 seeds, yield per plant, yield per feddan (1 fed = 0.42 ha and seed germination, compared to non-open pollination.

  2. The genetic components of extended life expectancy in chilled, post-diapause quiescent Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees, Megachile rotundata

    Science.gov (United States)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, a solitary bee native to Eurasia, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee and has become the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. These bees, when commercially managed, are overwintered as diapausing prepupae under static ther...

  3. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State

    OpenAIRE

    Adam G Dolezal; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W. Allen; Bryony C. Bonning; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of int...

  4. Do pollinators contribute to nutritional health?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia M Ellis

    Full Text Available Despite suggestions that animal pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no studies have actually tested this claim. Here, we combined data on crop pollination requirements, food nutrient densities, and actual human diets to predict the effects of pollinator losses on the risk of nutrient deficiency. In four developing countries and across five nutrients, we found that 0 to 56% of populations would become newly at risk if pollinators were removed. Increases in risk were most pronounced for vitamin A in populations with moderate levels of total nutrient intake. Overall, the effects of pollinator decline varied widely among populations and nutrients. We conclude that the importance of pollinators to human nutrition depends critically on the composition of local diets, and cannot be reliably predicted from global commodity analyses. We identify conditions under which severe health effects of pollinator loss are most likely to occur.

  5. Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal prevalence of known viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Runckel

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD. Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼10(11 viruses per honey bee. Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January.

  6. How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorostiague, P; Ortega-Baes, P

    2016-01-01

    Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. Cleistocactus baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family. PMID:25545418

  7. How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorostiague, P; Ortega-Baes, P

    2016-01-01

    Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. Cleistocactus baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family.

  8. Diversification of Fijian halictine bees: insights into a recent island radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Scott V C; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2013-09-01

    Although bees form a key pollinator suite for flowering plants, very few studies have examined the evolutionary radiation of non-domesticated bees over human time-scales. This is surprising given the importance of bees for crop pollination and the effect of humans in transforming ecosystems via agriculture. In the Pacific, where the bee fauna appears depauperate, their importance as pollinators is not clear, particularly in Fiji where species diversity is even lower than neighbouring archipelagos. Here we explore the radiation of halictine bees in Fiji using phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA COI sequence data. Our analyses indicate the existence of several 'deep' clades whose divergences are close to the crown node, along with a highly derived 'broom' clade showing very high haplotype diversity, and mostly limited to low-lying agricultural regions. This derived clade is very abundant, whereas the more basal clades were relatively rare. Although nearly all haplotype diversity in Fijian Homalictus comprises synonymous substitutions, a small number of amino acid changes are associated with the major clades, including the hyper-diverse clade. Analyses of haplotype lineage accumulation show a steep increase in selectively neutral COI haplotypes corresponding to the emergence of this 'broom' clade. We explore three possible scenarios for this dramatic increase: (i) a key change in adaptedness to the environment, (ii) a large-scale extinction event, or (iii) a dramatic increase in suitable habitats leading to rapid population expansion. Using estimated mutation rates of mitochondrial DNA in other invertebrates, we argue that Homalictus first colonised the Fijian archipelago in the middle-late Pleistocene, and the rapid accumulation of haplotypes in the hyper-diverse clade occurred in the Holocene, but prior to recorded human presence in the Fijian region. Our results indicate that bees have not been important pollinators of Fijian ecosystems until very recent times. Post

  9. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R Mattila

    Full Text Available Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline.

  10. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattila, Heather R; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene L G

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline.

  11. Pollinators visit related plant species across 29 plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamosi, Jana C; Moray, Clea M; Garcha, Navdeep K; Chamberlain, Scott A; Mooers, Arne Ø

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the evolution of specialization in host plant use by pollinators is often complicated by variability in the ecological context of specialization. Flowering communities offer their pollinators varying numbers and proportions of floral resources, and the uniformity observed in these floral resources is, to some degree, due to shared ancestry. Here, we find that pollinators visit related plant species more so than expected by chance throughout 29 plant-pollinator networks of varying sizes, with "clade specialization" increasing with community size. As predicted, less versatile pollinators showed more clade specialization overall. We then asked whether this clade specialization varied with the ratio of pollinator species to plant species such that pollinators were changing their behavior when there was increased competition (and presumably a forced narrowing of the realized niche) by examining pollinators that were present in at least three of the networks. Surprisingly, we found little evidence that variation in clade specialization is caused by pollinator species changing their behavior in different community contexts, suggesting that clade specialization is observed when pollinators are either restricted in their floral choices due to morphological constraints or innate preferences. The resulting pollinator sharing between closely related plant species could result in selection for greater pollinator specialization.

  12. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Huda, A. Nurul; Salmah, M. R. Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A.; Razak, M. N. Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. ‘Sala’ and ‘Chok Anan’. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any ...

  13. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-08-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop.

  14. The Birds and the Bees...and the Bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, MaryAnn

    1990-01-01

    Pollination vectors of a variety of types are described including beetles, bees, flies, moths, birds, bats, and the wind. Some of the adaptations of plants designed to help facilitate pollination are discussed. Strategies for incorporating this information into a lesson plan are suggested. (CW)

  15. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Blochtein, Betina; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Bee pollination is an indispensable component of global food production and plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The worldwide decline of bee populations, including wild pollinators, poses a threat to this system. However, most studies to date are situated in temperate regions where Apini and Bombini are very abundant pollinators. Tropical and subtropical regions where stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are generally very common, are often overlooked. These bees also face pressure due to deforestation and agricultural intensification as well as the growing use and spread of exotic pollinators as Apis mellifera and Bombus species. The loss or decline of this important bee tribe would have a large impact on their provided ecosystem services, in both wild and agricultural landscapes. The importance of pollinator diseases, which can contribute to decline, has not been investigated so far in this bee tribe. Here we report on the first large pathogen screening of Meliponini species in southern Brazil. Remarkably we observed that there was an absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae, and a very low occurrence of Apicystis bombi. Our data on disease prevalence in both understudied areas and species, can greatly improve our knowledge on the distribution of pathogens among bee species. PMID:27586080

  16. Determinants of pollinator activity and flower preference in the early spring blooming Crocus vernus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totland, Ørjan; Matthews, Ingrid

    1998-04-01

    This study examines the effects of environmental factors on the pollination activity on Crocus vernus by Apis mellifera, and also whether bees discriminate among flowers on the basis of floral display size and colour. Flower density was much more important than temperature, humidity, and time of day and season in explaining variation in bee numbers, the total number of flowers visited, the number of flowers visited by individual bees and the total number of visits per flower (visitation rate) during 10 min observation periods. Although flower density positively influenced bee abundance and the number of flowers visited by individual bees, we found a negative relationship between flower density and visitation rates, suggesting that the pool of available pollinators was saturated at flower densities below maximum. Despite this, visitation rates were high. On average a flower received 3.42 visits during one hour; thus there seems to be little intraspecific competition for pollinators despite saturation of the pollinator pool. There was no significant difference between the size or colour of flowers that were visited, approached, or ignored by bees, and duration of visits was not related to floral display size or colour. Thus, on average A. mellifera did not appear to discriminate between flowers on the basis of floral display. Consequently, the data indicate that there is no pollinator mediated selection on floral display, driven by discriminating pollinators.

  17. Honey Bees' Behavior Is Impaired by Chronic Exposure to the Neonicotinoid Thiacloprid in the Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Holtz, Sophie; Rößner, Alexander; Greggers, Uwe; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2016-07-01

    The decline of pollinators worldwide is of growing concern and has been related to the use of plant-protecting chemicals. Most studies have focused on three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) currently subject to a moratorium in the EU. Here, we focus on thiacloprid, a widely used cyano-substituted neonicotinoid thought to be less toxic to honey bees and of which use has increased in the last years. Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) were exposed chronically to thiacloprid in the field for several weeks at a sublethal concentration. Foraging behavior, homing success, navigation performance, and social communication were impaired, and thiacloprid residue levels increased both in the foragers and the nest mates over time. The effects observed in the field were not due to a repellent taste of the substance. For the first time, we present the necessary data for the risk evaluation of thiacloprid taken up chronically by honey bees in field conditions. PMID:27268938

  18. Low temperature stress during pupal development and its effects on adult performance in alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megachile rotundata, commonly known as the alfalfa leafcutting bee, is a key alternative pollinator. Farmers store pupal M. rotundata over the winter inside a 6°C incubator and then place the pupal bees into incubators at 29°C to initiate adult development. Their goal is to time adult bee emergenc...

  19. Spinosad in the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata: regrettable non-target toxicity of a bioinsecticide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Barbosa, Wagner F; Martins, Gustavo F; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2015-04-01

    The risks imposed by novel insecticides, mainly bioinsecticides, are largely unknown despite their increased use and their perceived environmental safety, which is based on their natural origin. Furthermore, unlike honeybees, native pollinator species have received little attention. In the present study, the lethal and sublethal effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the bioinsecticide spinosad were assessed in the stingless bee species Meliponaquadrifasciata, an important native pollinator in the Neotropical region. The adult stingless bee workers exhibited high oral insecticide susceptibility, with LD50s of 23.54 and 12.07 ng a.i./bee for imidacloprid and spinosad, respectively. Imidacloprid also impaired worker respiration and overall group activity and flight, while spinosad significantly impaired only worker flight despite exhibiting higher oral toxicity to adult workers than imidacloprid. These findings indicate the hazardous nature not only of imidacloprid but also the bioinsecticide spinosad to adult workers of the native pollinator M. quadrifasciata. Therefore, bioinsecticides should not be exempted from risk assessment analysis due to their lethal and sublethal components. PMID:25496737

  20. Changes in pollinator fauna affect altitudinal variation of floral size in a bumblebee-pollinated herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Yusuke; Abe, Kota; Kitazawa, Tomoaki; Hattori, Mitsuru; Hirao, Akira S; Itino, Takao

    2014-09-01

    Geographic trait variations are often caused by locally different selection regimes. As a steep environmental cline along altitude strongly influences adaptive traits, mountain ecosystems are ideal for exploring adaptive differentiation over short distances. We investigated altitudinal floral size variation of Campanula punctata var. hondoensis in 12 populations in three mountain regions of central Japan to test whether the altitudinal floral size variation was correlated with the size of the local bumblebee pollinator and to assess whether floral size was selected for by pollinator size. We found apparent geographic variations in pollinator assemblages along altitude, which consequently produced a geographic change in pollinator size. Similarly, we found altitudinal changes in floral size, which proved to be correlated with the local pollinator size, but not with altitude itself. Furthermore, pollen removal from flower styles onto bees (plant's male fitness) was strongly influenced by the size match between flower style length and pollinator mouthpart length. These results strongly suggest that C. punctata floral size is under pollinator-mediated selection and that a geographic mosaic of locally adapted C. punctata exists at fine spatial scale.

  1. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees are generalist floral visitors, meaning they pollinate a wide variety of plants. Their pollination activities expose them to both plant toxins and pesticides, yet little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes chan...

  2. Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J. T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Competition for pollinators occurs when, in a community of flowering plants, several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease

  3. Morphofunctional Traits and Pollination Mechanisms of Coronilla emerus L. Flowers (Fabaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Giovanna Aronne; Manuela Giovanetti; Veronica De Micco

    2012-01-01

    It is accepted that the papilionaceous corolla of the Fabaceae evolved under the selective pressure of bee pollinators. Morphology and function of different parts of Coronilla emerus L. flowers were related to their role in the pollination mechanism. The corolla has a vexillum with red nectar lines, a keel hiding stamens and pistil, and two wing petals fasten to the keel with two notched folds. Pollinators land on the complex of keel and wings, trigger the protrusion of pollen and finally of ...

  4. On managing the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) in apple orchards

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Bernd; Eckel, Katharina; Everaars, Jeroen; Dormann, Carsten

    2011-01-01

    A worldwide decline of pollinator abundance is recorded and the worldwide pollination of insect-pollinated crops has traditionally depended on a single species, the honeybee. The risks of relying on a single species are obvious. Other species have been developed for particular crops. Here we present an extension of the framework of Bosch and Kemp (2002) that deals on how to develop a bee species into a crop pollinator. We used nesting aids in different settings to address five important issue...

  5. Pollination by sexual deception-it takes chemistry to work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohman, Björn; Flematti, Gavin R; Barrow, Russell A; Pichersky, Eran; Peakall, Rod

    2016-08-01

    Semiochemicals are of paramount importance in sexually deceptive plants. These plants sexually lure specific male insects as pollinators by chemical and physical mimicry of the female of the pollinator. The strategy has evolved repeatedly in orchids, with a wide diversity of insect groups exploited. Chemical communication systems confirmed by field bioassays include: alkenes and alkanes in bee pollinated Ophrys species, keto-acid and hydroxy-acids in scoliid wasp pollinated O. speculum, and cyclohexanediones and pyrazines in thynnine wasp pollinated Chiloglottis and Drakaea orchids, respectively. In Ophrys, stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase (SAD) enzymes have been confirmed to control species level variation in alkene double bond position. The production of cyclohexanediones in Chiloglottis unexpectedly depends on UVB light, a phenomenon unknown for other plant specialised metabolites. Potential biosynthetic pathways for other systems are explored, and alternative approaches to further accelerate chemical discovery in sexually deceptive plants are proposed. PMID:27368084

  6. Causes and Extent of Declines among Native North American Invertebrate Pollinators: Detection, Evidence, and Consequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent J. Tepedino

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem health and agricultural wealth in North America depend on a particular invertebrate fauna to deliver pollination services. Extensive losses in pollinator guilds and communities can disrupt ecosystem integrity, a circumstance that today forces most farmers to rely on honey bees for much fruit and seed production. Are North America's invertebrate pollinator faunas already widely diminished or currently threatened by human activities? How would we know, what are the spatiotemporal scales for detection, and which anthropogenic factors are responsible? Answers to these questions were considered by participants in a workshop sponsored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in October of 1999, and these questions form the nucleus for the papers in this special issue. Several contributors critically interpret the evidence for declines of bee and fly pollinators, the pollination deficits that should ensue, and their economic costs. Spatiotemporal unruliness in pollinator numbers, particularly bees, is shown to hinder our current insights, highlighting the need for refined survey and sampling designs. At the same time, two remarkable studies clearly show the long-term persistence of members of complex bee communities. Other authors offer new perspectives on habitat fragmentation and global warming as drivers of pollinator declines. Bees and lepidopterans are contrasted in terms of their natural genetic variation and their consequent resilience in the face of population declines. Overall, many ecologists and conservation biologists have not fully appreciated the daunting challenges that accompany sampling designs, taxonomy, and the natural history of bees, flies, and other invertebrate pollinators, a circumstance that must be remedied if we are to reliably monitor invertebrate pollinator populations and respond to their declines with effective conservation measures.

  7. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  8. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L.; Reeves, Alison M.; Anderson, Troy D.; Rodrigues, Richard R.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2–V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  9. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. PMID:23044068

  10. Habitat Fragmentation and Native Bees: a Premature Verdict?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H. Cane

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Few studies directly address the consequences of habitat fragmentation for communities of pollinating insects, particularly for the key pollinator group, bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes. Bees typically live in habitats where nesting substrates and bloom are patchily distributed and spatially dissociated. Bee studies have all defined habitat fragments as remnant patches of floral hosts or forests, overlooking the nesting needs of bees. Several authors conclude that habitat fragmentation is broadly deleterious, but their own data show that some native species proliferate in sampled fragments. Other studies report greater densities and comparable diversities of native bees at flowers in some fragment size classes relative to undisrupted habitats, but find dramatic shifts in species composition. Insightful studies of habitat fragmentation and bees will consider fragmentation, alteration, and loss of nesting habitats, not just patches of forage plants, as well as the permeability of the surrounding matrix to interpatch movement. Inasmuch as the floral associations and nesting habits of bees are often attributes of species or subgenera, ecological interpretations hinge on authoritative identifications. Study designs must accommodate statistical problems associated with bee community samples, especially non-normal data and frequent zero values. The spatial scale of fragmentation must be appreciated: bees of medium body size can regularly fly 1–2 km from nest site to forage patch. Overall, evidence for prolonged persistence of substantial diversity and abundances of native bee communities in habitat fragments of modest size promises practical solutions for maintaining bee populations. Provided that reserve selection, design, and management can address the foraging and nesting needs of bees, networks of even small reserves may hold hope for sustaining considerable pollinator diversity and the ecological services pollinators provide.

  11. Pesticide Residues and Bees – A Risk Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Francisco Sanchez-Bayo; Koichi Goka

    2014-01-01

    Bees are essential pollinators of many plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural crops alike. In recent years the decline and disappearance of bee species in the wild and the collapse of honey bee colonies have concerned ecologists and apiculturalists, who search for causes and solutions to this problem. Whilst biological factors such as viral diseases, mite and parasite infections are undoubtedly involved, it is also evident that pesticides applied to agricultural crops have a negative i...

  12. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Antoine Lecocq; Annette Bruun Jensen; Per Kryger; Nieh, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data sho...

  13. Extended hypoxia in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, increases survival but causes sub-lethal effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many insects are tolerant of hypoxic conditions, but it is unknown whether survival under hypoxia comes at any cost to long-term health. The alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is a solitary cavity-nesting bee. Because juvenile M. rotundata develop in brood cells inside cavities, they may...

  14. Is rapid evolution of reproductive traits in Adonis annua consistent with pollinator decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomann, M.; Imbert, E.; Cheptou, P.-O.

    2015-11-01

    Growing human footprint on the environment rapidly modifies the living conditions of natural populations. This could lead to phenotypic changes through both plasticity and evolution. Therefore, distinguishing the role of evolution in the phenotypic response to global change is a major challenge. In this study, we benefited from past and recent seeds from a population of the annual self-compatible weed Adonis annua. Seeds were sampled from the same locality at an 18 years interval and close to a region where reduction of bee pollinators' density has been reported. We used a common garden experiment to investigate evolutionary changes, between the old (1992) and the recent (2010) sample, for some reproductive traits expected to be under selection in the context of climate warming and pollinator decline. Plants of the recent sample flowered earlier, had larger flowers, but also evolved a shorter floral longevity. The capacity of plants to reproduce autonomously (autonomous selfing) was similar in the two samples. These results are consistent with adaptation of flowering phenology to climate warming and in part consistent with the evolution of increased pollinator attraction under pollinator decline. Together with other recent studies, this study provides evidence that short-term evolution is a frequent phenomenon accompanying global change.

  15. Functionality of Selected Aromatic Lamiaceae in Attracting Pollinators in Central Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbir, Jelena; Azpiazu, Celeste; Badenes-Pérez, Francisco R; Fernández-Quintanilla, César; Dorado, José

    2016-04-01

    Planting floral margins in agricultural landscapes has been shown to increase the abundance of pollinators in agro-ecosystems. However, to create efficient margins, it is necessary to use attractive, not weedy native plants with different blooming periods to prolong the availability of floral resources. Six native perennial plants of the Lamiaceae with different blooming periods were studied in a randomized block design, with the final aim to select the most efficient plants in floral mixtures by studying relationships between their floral phenology, floral density, and attractiveness to pollinators in Central Spain. In addition, their spatial expansion, i.e., potential weediness, was estimated under the field conditions, as the final purpose of the plants is to be implemented within the agro-ecosystems. The results showed that plant species with higher floral density (Nepeta tuberosa L. and Hyssopus officinalis L.) showed significantly higher attractiveness to pollinators and enhanced the attractiveness of floral mixtures. Species that bloomed in early spring (Salvia verbenaca L.) and in summer (Melissa officinalis L. and Thymbra capitata L.) did not efficiently contribute to the attractiveness of the mixtures to pollinators. In addition, besides high floral density of Salvia officinalis L. and N. tuberosa in the spring, warm and dry weather in spring 2012 enhanced the activity of bees, while cold and rainy weather in spring 2013 enhanced the activity of hoverflies. None of the plants showed weedy growth and so posed no danger of invading adjacent crops.

  16. Functionality of Selected Aromatic Lamiaceae in Attracting Pollinators in Central Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbir, Jelena; Azpiazu, Celeste; Badenes-Pérez, Francisco R; Fernández-Quintanilla, César; Dorado, José

    2016-04-01

    Planting floral margins in agricultural landscapes has been shown to increase the abundance of pollinators in agro-ecosystems. However, to create efficient margins, it is necessary to use attractive, not weedy native plants with different blooming periods to prolong the availability of floral resources. Six native perennial plants of the Lamiaceae with different blooming periods were studied in a randomized block design, with the final aim to select the most efficient plants in floral mixtures by studying relationships between their floral phenology, floral density, and attractiveness to pollinators in Central Spain. In addition, their spatial expansion, i.e., potential weediness, was estimated under the field conditions, as the final purpose of the plants is to be implemented within the agro-ecosystems. The results showed that plant species with higher floral density (Nepeta tuberosa L. and Hyssopus officinalis L.) showed significantly higher attractiveness to pollinators and enhanced the attractiveness of floral mixtures. Species that bloomed in early spring (Salvia verbenaca L.) and in summer (Melissa officinalis L. and Thymbra capitata L.) did not efficiently contribute to the attractiveness of the mixtures to pollinators. In addition, besides high floral density of Salvia officinalis L. and N. tuberosa in the spring, warm and dry weather in spring 2012 enhanced the activity of bees, while cold and rainy weather in spring 2013 enhanced the activity of hoverflies. None of the plants showed weedy growth and so posed no danger of invading adjacent crops. PMID:26838345

  17. The Dependence of Crops for Pollinators and the Economic Value of Pollination in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, T C; Cordeiro, G D; Freitas, B M; Saraiva, A M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2015-06-01

    Food production is challenged by changes in climate and land use and expanding human population growth. Proper pollination can increase the production and quality of fruit, nut, oil, and fiber crops. We reviewed crop dependence on pollinators and estimated the economic value of pollination per year for each crop in Brazil. We analyzed 141 crops and found that 85 depend on pollinators. Almost one-third of these crops have an essential or great dependence on pollinators. The economic contribution of pollinators totals ∼30% (∼US$12 billion) of the total annual agricultural income of the dependent crops (totalizing almost US$45 billion). However, half of these figures includes soybean crop (US$5.7 billion of pollinators' contribution and US$22 billion of annual income). Soybean was considered as having a modest dependence on pollinators, but this remains controversial because pollinator dependence might vary among different varieties cultivated in Brazil. Moreover, we have no information about pollinator dependence regarding some important crops, showing the urgent need for basic research into reproductive biology and pollination ecology.

  18. Imidacloprid-Induced Impairment of Mushroom Bodies and Behavior of the Native Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

    OpenAIRE

    Hudson Vaner V Tomé; Gustavo F. Martins; Lima, Maria Augusta P.; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestat...

  19. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollinated compared with 74.15 % for naturally pollinated flowers. The pollinator visitation rate and the proportion of fruit produced were not significantly different between tall and short plants or between small and large flowers. Furthermore, the increase in plant size and floral display did not increase the frequency of pollinator visitations and so did not increase the fruit set. Thus, despite the widespread effects of flowering plant size on pollinator attraction and plant reproduction in other species, these effects are lacking in I. tuberosa. This study quantifies the role of pollinators in the reproductive success of I. tuberosa. Pollinators visited tall/short plants and large/small flowers in equal proportion, suggesting that plant and floral display size do not affect pollinator attraction and reproductive success in I. tuberosa. These results suggest that sexual reproduction of I. tuberosa is fairly limited by pollinators and not by resource limitation. PMID:25527476

  20. Functional Diversity of Plant-Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

  1. Nest suitability, fine-scale population structure and male-mediated dispersal of a solitary ground nesting bee in an urban landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita M López-Uribe

    Full Text Available Bees are the primary pollinators of flowering plants in almost all ecosystems. Worldwide declines in bee populations have raised awareness about the importance of their ecological role in maintaining ecosystem functioning. The naturally strong philopatric behavior that some bee species show can be detrimental to population viability through increased probability of inbreeding. Furthermore, bee populations found in human-altered landscapes, such as urban areas, can experience lower levels of gene flow and effective population sizes, increasing potential for inbreeding depression in wild bee populations. In this study, we investigated the fine-scale population structure of the solitary bee Colletes inaequalis in an urbanized landscape. First, we developed a predictive spatial model to detect suitable nesting habitat for this ground nesting bee and to inform our field search for nests. We genotyped 18 microsatellites in 548 female individuals collected from nest aggregations throughout the study area. Genetic relatedness estimates revealed that genetic similarity among individuals was slightly greater within nest aggregations than among randomly chosen individuals. However, genetic structure among nest aggregations was low (Nei's GST = 0.011. Reconstruction of parental genotypes revealed greater genetic relatedness among females than among males within nest aggregations, suggesting male-mediated dispersal as a potentially important mechanism of population connectivity and inbreeding avoidance. Size of nesting patch was positively correlated with effective population size, but not with other estimators of genetic diversity. We detected a positive trend between geographic distance and genetic differentiation between nest aggregations. Our landscape genetic models suggest that increased urbanization is likely associated with higher levels of inbreeding. Overall, these findings emphasize the importance of density and distribution of suitable nesting

  2. Pollination biology in the dioecious orchid Catasetum uncatum: How does floral scent influence the behaviour of pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milet-Pinheiro, Paulo; Navarro, Daniela Maria do Amaral Ferraz; Dötterl, Stefan; Carvalho, Airton Torres; Pinto, Carlos Eduardo; Ayasse, Manfred; Schlindwein, Clemens

    2015-08-01

    Catasetum is a neotropical orchid genus that comprises about 160 dioecious species with a remarkable sexual dimorphism in floral morphology. Flowers of Catasetum produce perfumes as rewards, which are collected only by male euglossine bees. Currently, floral scents are known to be involved in the selective attraction of specific euglossine species. However, sexual dimorphism in floral scent and its eventual role in the pollination of Catasetum species have never been investigated. Here, we have investigated the pollination of Catasetum uncatum and asked: (1) Is floral scent a sexual dimorphic trait? (2) Does pollinarium removal/deposition affect scent emission? (3) Does sexual dimorphism in floral scent and changed scent emission have implications with regard to the behaviour of the pollinators? The frequency and behaviour of floral visitors were observed in non-manipulated flowers (both flower sexes) and in manipulated flowers (pistillate only) in which pollinaria were deposited. Scents of staminate and pistillate flowers (both manipulated and non-manipulated) were collected by using dynamic headspace methods and analysed chemically. Electrophysiological analyses were performed to detect compounds triggering antennal depolarisation in the euglossine species. C. uncatum is pollinated mainly by males of Euglossa nanomelanotricha. Pollinators were more frequent in pistillate than in staminate inflorescences. Bees approaching staminate flowers frequently flew away without visiting them, a behavioural pattern not observed in pistillate flowers. In the chemical analyses, we recorded 99 compounds, 31 of which triggered antennal depolarisation in pollinators. Multivariate analyses with the electrophysiological-active compounds did not detect differences between the scent composition of staminate and pistillate flowers. Pollinarium removal or deposition resulted in diminished scent emission within 24h in staminate and pistillate flowers, respectively. Surprisingly, bees

  3. Pollination biology in the dioecious orchid Catasetum uncatum: How does floral scent influence the behaviour of pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milet-Pinheiro, Paulo; Navarro, Daniela Maria do Amaral Ferraz; Dötterl, Stefan; Carvalho, Airton Torres; Pinto, Carlos Eduardo; Ayasse, Manfred; Schlindwein, Clemens

    2015-08-01

    Catasetum is a neotropical orchid genus that comprises about 160 dioecious species with a remarkable sexual dimorphism in floral morphology. Flowers of Catasetum produce perfumes as rewards, which are collected only by male euglossine bees. Currently, floral scents are known to be involved in the selective attraction of specific euglossine species. However, sexual dimorphism in floral scent and its eventual role in the pollination of Catasetum species have never been investigated. Here, we have investigated the pollination of Catasetum uncatum and asked: (1) Is floral scent a sexual dimorphic trait? (2) Does pollinarium removal/deposition affect scent emission? (3) Does sexual dimorphism in floral scent and changed scent emission have implications with regard to the behaviour of the pollinators? The frequency and behaviour of floral visitors were observed in non-manipulated flowers (both flower sexes) and in manipulated flowers (pistillate only) in which pollinaria were deposited. Scents of staminate and pistillate flowers (both manipulated and non-manipulated) were collected by using dynamic headspace methods and analysed chemically. Electrophysiological analyses were performed to detect compounds triggering antennal depolarisation in the euglossine species. C. uncatum is pollinated mainly by males of Euglossa nanomelanotricha. Pollinators were more frequent in pistillate than in staminate inflorescences. Bees approaching staminate flowers frequently flew away without visiting them, a behavioural pattern not observed in pistillate flowers. In the chemical analyses, we recorded 99 compounds, 31 of which triggered antennal depolarisation in pollinators. Multivariate analyses with the electrophysiological-active compounds did not detect differences between the scent composition of staminate and pistillate flowers. Pollinarium removal or deposition resulted in diminished scent emission within 24h in staminate and pistillate flowers, respectively. Surprisingly, bees

  4. Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria Franco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. In co-flowering plant species, pollinator sharing can result in interspecific pollen transfer and fecundity reduction. Competition will be relaxed whenever there is a large amount of initial pollen supply or if each plant species occupies different habitat patches. Reproduction in Tibouchina cerastifolia (Naudin Cogn., T. clinopodifolia (DC. Cogn. and T. gracilis (Bonpl. Cogn. was studied in an area of Atlantic rainforest to examine whether synchronopatry induces time partitioning among pollinator species. Eleven bee species comprised the pollinator guild. Among pollinators, there were overlaps in bee species composition and in flower visitation time. Direct competition for pollen in Tibouchina Aubl. at the study site seems to lead to different activity periods among the bee species, in which Bombus pauloensis Friese,1913 was most active earlier, while the other species were active later in the day. Bombus pauloensis, the largest bee species recorded on Tibouchina flowers, was the most important and efficient pollinator. This species harvested pollen before the other species and had the shortest handling time. The plants reproduced sexually by selfing or outcrossing, and hybridization was not avoided by incompatibility reactions at the style. The avoidance of direct competition for pollen and no pollinator partitioning among the synchronopatric species of Tibouchina may reflect a facilitative interaction among these pioneer plants.

  5. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  6. Conservation value and permeability of neotropical oil palm landscapes for orchid bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Livingston

    Full Text Available The proliferation of oil palm plantations has led to dramatic changes in tropical landscapes across the globe. However, relatively little is known about the effects of oil palm expansion on biodiversity, especially in key ecosystem-service providing organisms like pollinators. Rapid land use change is exacerbated by limited knowledge of the mechanisms causing biodiversity decline in the tropics, particularly those involving landscape features. We examined these mechanisms by undertaking a survey of orchid bees, a well-known group of Neotropical pollinators, across forest and oil palm plantations in Costa Rica. We used chemical baits to survey the community in four regions: continuous forest sites, oil palm sites immediately adjacent to forest, oil palm sites 2 km from forest, and oil palm sites greater than 5 km from forest. We found that although orchid bees are present in all environments, orchid bee communities diverged across the gradient, and community richness, abundance, and similarity to forest declined as distance from forest increased. In addition, mean phylogenetic distance of the orchid bee community declined and was more clustered in oil palm. Community traits also differed with individuals in oil palm having shorter average tongue length and larger average geographic range size than those in the forest. Our results indicate two key features about Neotropical landscapes that contain oil palm: 1 oil palm is selectively permeable to orchid bees and 2 orchid bee communities in oil palm have distinct phylogenetic and trait structure compared to communities in forest. These results suggest that conservation and management efforts in oil palm-cultivating regions should focus on landscape features.

  7. Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris) use mechanosensory hairs to detect electric fields

    OpenAIRE

    Sutton Gregory; Whitney Heather; Clarke Dominic; Robert Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Bees and flowers have an intricate relationship which benefits both organisms. Plants provide nectar bees, in turn, distribute pollen to fertilize plants. To make pollination work, flowers need a mechanism to incentivize individual bees to visit only a single species of flower. Flowers, like modern advertising agencies, use multiple senses to create a floral ‘brand’ that is easily recognized. Size, smell, colour, touch, and even temperature are used to allow bees to differentiate between flow...

  8. A novel mutualism between an ant-plant and its resident pollinator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, Megha; Borges, Renee M.

    2008-01-01

    Pollination systems in which the host plant provides breeding sites for pollinators, invariably within flowers, are usually highly specialized mutualisms. We found that the pollinating bee Braunsapis puangensis breeds within the caulinary domatia of the semi-myrmecophyte Humboldtia brunonis (Fabaceae), an unusual ant-plant that is polymorphic for the presence of domatia and harbours a diverse invertebrate fauna including protective and non-protective ants in its domatia. B. puangensis is the most common flower visitor that carries the highest proportion of H. brunonis pollen. This myrmecophyte is pollen limited and cross-pollinated by bees in the daytime. Hence, the symbiotic pollinator could provide a benefit to trees bearing domatia by alleviating this limitation. We therefore report for the first time an unspecialised mutualism in which a pollinator is housed in a plant structure other than flowers. Here, the cost to the plant is lower than for conventional brood-site pollination mutualisms where the pollinator develops at the expense of plant reproductive structures. Myrmecophytes housing resident pollinators are unusual, as ants are known to be enemies of pollinators, and housing them together may decrease the benefits that these residents could individually provide to the host plant.

  9. What's the 'buzz' about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz-pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-08-01

    Many plant species have evolved floral characteristics that restrict pollen access. Some of these species are visited by insects, principally bees, which make use of vibrations to extract pollen from anthers. Buzz-pollination, as this phenomenon is generally known, is a widespread method of fertilization for thousands of species in both natural and agricultural systems. Despite its prevalence in pollination systems, the ecological and evolutionary conditions that favour the evolution of buzz-pollination are poorly known. We briefly summarize the biology of buzz-pollination and review recent studies on plant and pollinator characteristics that affect pollen removal. We suggest that buzz-pollination evolves as the result of an escalation in the competition between plants and pollen-consuming floral visitors (including pollen thieves and true pollinators) to control the rate of pollen removal from flowers. PMID:23751734

  10. Reproductive biology and pollination of Utricularia reniformis A.St.-Hil. (Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clivati, D; Cordeiro, G D; Płachno, B J; de Miranda, V F O

    2014-05-01

    Utricularia reniformis is an endemic Brazilian carnivorous plant, most common in high-altitude grasslands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of U. reniformis is essential for planning conservation strategies, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied the floral morphology, floral biology, breeding system and pollination of this species. U. reniformis produces and stores nectar in the flower spur, a classic feature of bee-pollinated flowers, and we recorded Xylocopa sp. and Bombus sp. as pollinators. Moreover, although it is self-compatible it is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. However, in natural conditions reproductive success is low due to the rarity of visits from pollinators. We suggest that the low reproductive success caused by a deficit of pollinators may affect gene flow, causing loss of genetic diversity in U. reniformis. PMID:24834508

  11. What's the 'buzz' about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz-pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-08-01

    Many plant species have evolved floral characteristics that restrict pollen access. Some of these species are visited by insects, principally bees, which make use of vibrations to extract pollen from anthers. Buzz-pollination, as this phenomenon is generally known, is a widespread method of fertilization for thousands of species in both natural and agricultural systems. Despite its prevalence in pollination systems, the ecological and evolutionary conditions that favour the evolution of buzz-pollination are poorly known. We briefly summarize the biology of buzz-pollination and review recent studies on plant and pollinator characteristics that affect pollen removal. We suggest that buzz-pollination evolves as the result of an escalation in the competition between plants and pollen-consuming floral visitors (including pollen thieves and true pollinators) to control the rate of pollen removal from flowers.

  12. Reproductive biology and pollination of Utricularia reniformis A.St.-Hil. (Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clivati, D; Cordeiro, G D; Płachno, B J; de Miranda, V F O

    2014-05-01

    Utricularia reniformis is an endemic Brazilian carnivorous plant, most common in high-altitude grasslands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of U. reniformis is essential for planning conservation strategies, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied the floral morphology, floral biology, breeding system and pollination of this species. U. reniformis produces and stores nectar in the flower spur, a classic feature of bee-pollinated flowers, and we recorded Xylocopa sp. and Bombus sp. as pollinators. Moreover, although it is self-compatible it is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. However, in natural conditions reproductive success is low due to the rarity of visits from pollinators. We suggest that the low reproductive success caused by a deficit of pollinators may affect gene flow, causing loss of genetic diversity in U. reniformis.

  13. Does pollinator diversity loss affect pollination: a test with the California poppy and clustered tarweed

    OpenAIRE

    Cen, Henry Jiayin

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators are in decline as a result of human activities such as habitat fragmentation. This study examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and reduced bee diversity on the reproductive performance of California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, and clustered tarweed, Deinandra fasciculata, in the San Diego region. We experimentally introduced potted poppy plants in to scrub fragment habitats and natural reserves. We surveyed the potted poppy plants for floral visitors followed by in si...

  14. Pollination effectiveness of different strawberry floral visitors in Ribatejo, Portugal : selection of potential pollinators : Part 2

    OpenAIRE

    Albano, Sílvia; Salvado, Eva; Duarte, Sónia; Mexia, António; Paulo A V Borges

    2009-01-01

    Copyright © 2009 Universita degli Studi di Firenze. This study was carried out in a strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) field located in Ribatejo, Portugal, and aims to describe the qualitative component of the visits for three strawberry floral visitors, attaining the best results in a previous work. The main objectives were: (1) to assess the pollination rate (PR) resulting from a single visit of Apis mellifera L., Syrphidae and native bees, and (2) to characterize the foraging behavi...

  15. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  16. Warming, CO2, and nitrogen deposition interactively affect a plant-pollinator mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Shelley E R; Ladley, Jenny J; Shchepetkina, Anastasia A; Tisch, Maggie; Gieseg, Steven P; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-03-01

    Environmental changes threaten plant-pollinator mutualisms and their critical ecosystem service. Drivers such as land use, invasions and climate change can affect pollinator diversity or species encounter rates. However, nitrogen deposition, climate warming and CO(2) enrichment could interact to disrupt this crucial mutualism by altering plant chemistry in ways that alter floral attractiveness or even nutritional rewards for pollinators. Using a pumpkin model system, we show that these drivers non-additively affect flower morphology, phenology, flower sex ratios and nectar chemistry (sugar and amino acids), thereby altering the attractiveness of nectar to bumble bee pollinators and reducing worker longevity. Alarmingly, bees were attracted to, and consumed more, nectar from a treatment that reduced their survival by 22%. Thus, three of the five major drivers of global environmental change have previously unknown interactive effects on plant-pollinator mutualisms that could not be predicted from studies of individual drivers in isolation.

  17. A Strong Immune Response in Young Adult Honeybees Masks Their Increased Susceptibility to Infection Compared to Older Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, James C.; Ryabov, Eugene V.; Gill Prince; Andrew Mead; Cunjin Zhang; Baxter, Laura A.; Pell, Judith K.; Osborne, Juliet L; Dave Chandler

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance ("housekeeping") tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger "house" bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infect...

  18. Reversing insect pollinator decline

    OpenAIRE

    Potts, Simon; Wentworth, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture.1 Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.

  19. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa

    OpenAIRE

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollina...

  20. Competition for pollinators and intracommunal spectral dissimilarity of flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J.T.M.

    2015-01-01

    Competition for pollinators occurs when in a community of flowering plants several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease in

  1. Syrphid fly pollination of Guihaiothamnus acaulis (Rubiaceae),a species with “butterfly” flowers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei-Wu XIE; Zhong-Lai LUO; Dian-Xiang ZHANG

    2013-01-01

    The utility of pollination syndromes in predicting pollinators has been controversial.Flowers of Guihaiothamnus acaulis are tubular and vivid in color,indicating that butterflies might be the dominant pollinators of this species,based on the theory of pollination syndromes.To test this prediction,observations on the floral biology,pollinator behaviors,and breeding system were carried out in two wild populations.The results showed that diurnal and protandrous flowers of G.acaulis could last 7 10 days,and this species was self-incompatible.Thus,the fruit set was pollinator-dependent.In addition,pollen-consuming hoverflies and halictid bees were identified as the major pollinators of G.acaulis; butterflies were recorded as visiting the flower only once.The expanded corolla throat,massive pollen per flower,and high floral longevity suggest that G.acaulis had experienced the process of pollinator shift.Our results indicated that the actual pollinating fauna of plants were determined by complex factors including floral syndromes,the availability of pollinators,and historical adaptation to habitat.Pollination syndromes should be used carefullv to predict pollinators of a particular flowering plant species.

  2. Functional diversity within the simple gut microbiota of the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Martinson, Vincent G; Moran, Nancy A

    2012-07-01

    Animals living in social communities typically harbor a characteristic gut microbiota important for nutrition and pathogen defense. Accordingly, in the gut of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, a distinctive microbial community, composed of a taxonomically restricted set of species specific to social bees, has been identified. Despite the ecological and economical importance of honey bees and the increasing concern about population declines, the role of their gut symbionts for colony health and nutrition is unknown. Here, we sequenced the metagenome of the gut microbiota of honey bees. Unexpectedly, we found a remarkable degree of genetic diversity within the few bacterial species colonizing the bee gut. Comparative analysis of gene contents suggests that different species harbor distinct functional capabilities linked to host interaction, biofilm formation, and carbohydrate breakdown. Whereas the former two functions could be critical for pathogen defense and immunity, the latter one might assist nutrient utilization. In a γ-proteobacterial species, we identified genes encoding pectin-degrading enzymes likely involved in the breakdown of pollen walls. Experimental investigation showed that this activity is restricted to a subset of strains of this species providing evidence for niche specialization. Long-standing association of these gut symbionts with their hosts, favored by the eusocial lifestyle of honey bees, might have promoted the genetic and functional diversification of these bee-specific bacteria. Besides revealing insights into mutualistic functions governed by the microbiota of this important pollinator, our findings indicate that the honey bee can serve as a model for understanding more complex gut-associated microbial communities.

  3. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

  4. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Locke

    Full Text Available The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV and sacbrood virus (SBV titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed.

  5. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed.

  6. Bee Pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... bee venom, honey, or royal jelly. People take bee pollen for nutrition; as an appetite stimulant; to improve stamina and athletic performance; and for premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hay fever (allergic ... Bee pollen is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) problems ...

  7. Utilização de agentes polinizadores na produção de sementes de cenoura e pimenta doce em cultivo protegido Influence of pollinators on seed production and quality of carrot and sweet pepper in a greenhouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warley Marcos Nascimento

    2012-09-01

    the greenhouse. In the sweet pepper study, the following treatments were used: pollination with Arapuá (Trigona spinipes bees, Jataí (Tetragonisca angustula bees, Marmelada (Frieseomellita varia bees, hand pollination and free (self fertilization. The use of Jataí and Tibuna bees showed a great potential for carrot seed production in greenhouse conditions. For the production of sweet pepper seeds the use of pollinators is not necessary, but the presence of these agents increases the fruit weight. The physiological seed quality of both species was not influenced by different types of pollination.

  8. The potential for indirect effects between co-flowering plants via shared pollinators depends on resource abundance, accessibility and relatedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalheiro, Luísa Gigante; Biesmeijer, Jacobus Christiaan; Benadi, Gita; Fründ, Jochen; Stang, Martina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Baude, Mathilde; Gomes, Sofia I F; Merckx, Vincent; Baldock, Katherine C R; Bennett, Andrew T D; Boada, Ruth; Bommarco, Riccardo; Cartar, Ralph; Chacoff, Natacha; Dänhardt, Juliana; Dicks, Lynn V; Dormann, Carsten F; Ekroos, Johan; Henson, Kate S E; Holzschuh, Andrea; Junker, Robert R; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha; Memmott, Jane; Montero-Castaño, Ana; Nelson, Isabel L; Petanidou, Theodora; Power, Eileen F; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Stout, Jane C; Temitope, Kehinde; Tscharntke, Teja; Tscheulin, Thomas; Vilà, Montserrat; Kunin, William E

    2014-11-01

    Co-flowering plant species commonly share flower visitors, and thus have the potential to influence each other's pollination. In this study we analysed 750 quantitative plant-pollinator networks from 28 studies representing diverse biomes worldwide. We show that the potential for one plant species to influence another indirectly via shared pollinators was greater for plants whose resources were more abundant (higher floral unit number and nectar sugar content) and more accessible. The potential indirect influence was also stronger between phylogenetically closer plant species and was independent of plant geographic origin (native vs. non-native). The positive effect of nectar sugar content and phylogenetic proximity was much more accentuated for bees than for other groups. Consequently, the impact of these factors depends on the pollination mode of plants, e.g. bee or fly pollinated. Our findings may help predict which plant species have the greatest importance in the functioning of plant-pollination networks. PMID:25167890

  9. The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

  10. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R. Scott; Dainat, Jacques; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  11. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia M. Bernauer

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens. Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems.

  12. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernauer, Olivia M; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Steffan, Shawn A

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  13. Bumble bee colony dynamics: quantifying the importance of land use and floral resources for colony growth and queen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Williams, Neal M

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bee (Bombus) species are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and many species are in decline. In this article, we develop a mechanistic model to analyse growth trajectories of Bombus vosnesenskii colonies in relation to floral resources and land use. Queen production increased with floral resources and was higher in semi-natural areas than on conventional farms. However, the most important parameter for queen production was the colony growth rate per flower, as opposed to the average number of available flowers. This result indicates the importance of understanding mechanisms of colony growth, in order to predict queen production and enhance bumble bee population viability. Our work highlights the importance of interpreting bumble bee conservation efforts in the context of overall population dynamics and provides a framework for doing so. PMID:26913696

  14. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfield, Ashley S; Bergstrom, John C; Ferreira, Susana; Covich, Alan P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-04-01

    As agriculture faces documented decline in bees and other insect pollinators, empirical assessments of potential economic losses are critical for contextualizing the impacts of this decline and for prioritizing research needs. For the state of Georgia, we show that the annual economic value of biotic pollinators is substantial--US$367 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the total production value of crops studied and 3 percent of the total production value of Georgia's agricultural sector. Our unique Geographic Information Systems analysis reveals an irregular pattern of vulnerability. While the Georgia counties displaying the highest economic values of pollination are clustered in southern Georgia, those with the highest dependency on pollinators in terms of their contribution to crop production value are more dispersed throughout the state.

  15. Floral scent and pollinators of the holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sedonia D Sipes

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Floral scent is likely important to the pollination of parasitic plants, despite that it has not been well-studied. We studied the pollination ecology of the North American stem holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae at two field sites in Texas. To identify effective pollinators, we collected floral visitors to P. thurberi flowers, observed their foraging behavior, and looked for P. thurberi pollen on their bodies. Augochloropsis metallica bees (Halictidae and eumenine potter wasps (Vespidae were pollinators. P. thurberi flowers are visually inconspicuous but produce a strong fruity fragrance. GC/MS analysis of whole floral extracts and dynamic headspace samples revealed the fragrance to be an unusually simple bouquet of raspberry ketone and several eugenols. Comparison of scent profiles to those from uninfected host plants (Dalea formosa allowed putative separation of parasite and host volatiles. This is the first report of the constituents of floral fragrance in Apodanthaceae.

  16. The modularity of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jens Mogens; Bascompte, J.; Dupont, Yoko;

    2007-01-01

    consist of strongly connected species. The importance of modularity has been discussed for a long time, but no consensus on its prevalence in ecological networks has yet been reached. Progress is hampered by inadequate methods and a lack of large datasets. We analyzed 51 pollination networks including...... almost 10,000 species and 20,000 links and tested for modularity by using a recently developed simulated annealing algorithm. All networks with >150 plant and pollinator species were modular, whereas networks with <50 species were never modular. Both module number and size increased with species number...

  17. Preliminary Sample of An Economic Analysis of Alternative Control Measures for Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray on Honey Bee Colonies in Florida

    OpenAIRE

    Pompilus, Carolyn; Kanga, Lambert; Thomas, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture has historically depended on honey bees for crop pollination. About 220,000 out of an estimated 240,000 species of plants that depend on pollination have required animals such as the honey bee. For the last several decades, the numbers of managed honey bees have been declining due to infestations of the Small Hive Beetle, in managed hives. Infestations of SHB can threaten honey quality, native bee survival and pollination services. In 1998, it was estimated that Florida’s beekeepe...

  18. A scientific note on Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis invasions of bumble bee nests and honey bee hives in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants, yet some species are obligate social parasites that do little pollinating and reduce the fitness of the colonies they invade. In 2012 we observed an outbreak of the parasitic Bombus insularis in the Cache Valley of Northern Ut...

  19. The influence of climatic seasonality on the diversity of different tropical pollinator groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Abrahamczyk

    Full Text Available Tropical South America is rich in different groups of pollinators, but the biotic and abiotic factors determining the geographical distribution of their species richness are poorly understood. We analyzed the species richness of three groups of pollinators (bees and wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds in six tropical forests in the Bolivian lowlands along a gradient of climatic seasonality and precipitation ranging from 410 mm to 6250 mm. At each site, we sampled the three pollinator groups and their food plants twice for 16 days in both the dry and rainy seasons. The richness of the pollinator groups was related to climatic factors by linear regressions. Differences in species numbers between pollinator groups were analyzed by Wilcoxon tests for matched pairs and the proportion in species numbers between pollinator groups by correlation analyses. Species richness of hummingbirds was most closely correlated to the continuous availability of food, that of bees and wasps to the number of food plant species and flowers, and that of butterflies to air temperature. Only the species number of butterflies differed significantly between seasons. We were not able to find shifts in the proportion of species numbers of the different groups of pollinators along the study gradient. Thus, we conclude that the diversity of pollinator guilds is determined by group-specific factors and that the constant proportions in species numbers of the different pollinator groups constitute a general pattern.

  20. Health status of alfalfa leafcutting bee larvae (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in United States alfalfa seed fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, R R; Pitts-Singer, T L

    2013-12-01

    We conducted a broad geographic survey in the northwestern United States to quantify production losses in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata (F.), Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), a solitary pollinator used extensively in alfalfa seed production. Viable larvae were found in only 47.1% of the nest cells collected at the end of the season. Most of the rest of the cells contained pollen balls (typified by a provision but no larva; 16.7%), unknown causes of mortality (15.5%), or larvae killed by chalkbrood (8.0%). Prevalence of pollen balls was correlated positively with bee release rates and negatively with alfalfa stand age. The unknown mortality was correlated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Plant Hardiness Zone, and thus, some of the mortality may be caused by high temperature extremes, although the nesting season degree-days were not correlated with this mortality. Chalkbrood prevalence was correlated with possible nesting-resource or crowding-related factors, such as the number of bees released per hectare and the number of shelters used, but not with nesting board disinfection practices. Vapona is used to control parasitoids when the parent bees are incubated before release, and use of this fumigant was associated with an increase in both chalkbrood and diapausing offspring, although any reason for these correlations are unknown. This survey quantifies the variation in the quality of alfalfa leafcutting bee cocoons produced across much of the U.S. alfalfa seed production area. PMID:24128927

  1. Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maitreyi Agarwal

    Full Text Available Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA and dopamine (DA on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc. and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

  2. Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Maitreyi; Giannoni Guzmán, Manuel; Morales-Matos, Carla; Del Valle Díaz, Rafael Alejandro; Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul

    2011-01-01

    Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA) and dopamine (DA) on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc.) and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

  3. Predicting bee community responses to land-use changes: Effects of geographic and taxonomic biases

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Palma, Adriana; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Aizen, Marcelo A.; Albrecht, Matthias; Basset, Yves; Bates, Adam; Blake, Robin J.; Boutin, Céline; Bugter, Rob; Connop, Stuart; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Cunningham, Saul A.; Darvill, Ben; Diekötter, Tim; Dorn, Silvia; Downing, Nicola; Entling, Martin H.; Farwig, Nina; Felicioli, Antonio; Fonte, Steven J.; Fowler, Robert; Franzén, Markus; Goulson, Dave; Grass, Ingo; Hanley, Mick E.; Hendrix, Stephen D.; Herrmann, Farina; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Jauker, Birgit; Kessler, Michael; Knight, M. E.; Kruess, Andreas; Lavelle, Patrick; Le Féon, Violette; Lentini, Pia; Malone, Louise A.; Marshall, Jon; Pachón, Eliana Martínez; McFrederick, Quinn S.; Morales, Carolina L.; Mudri-Stojnic, Sonja; Nates-Parra, Guiomar; Nilsson, Sven G.; Öckinger, Erik; Osgathorpe, Lynne; Parra-H, Alejandro; Peres, Carlos A.; Persson, Anna S.; Petanidou, Theodora; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F.; Quaranta, Marino; Quintero, Carolina; Rader, Romina; Richards, Miriam H.; Roulston, T’ai; Rousseau, Laurent; Sadler, Jonathan P.; Samnegård, Ulrika; Schellhorn, Nancy A.; Schüepp, Christof; Schweiger, Oliver; Smith-Pardo, Allan H.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Tonietto, Rebecca K.; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M.; Verboven, Hans A. F.; Vergara, Carlos H.; Verhulst, Jort; Westphal, Catrin; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Purvis, Andy

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification threaten bee populations worldwide, imperilling pollination services. Global models are needed to better characterise, project, and mitigate bees' responses to these human impacts. The available data are, however, geographically and taxonomically unrepresentative; most data are from North America and Western Europe, overrepresenting bumblebees and raising concerns that model results may not be generalizable to other regions and taxa. To assess whether the geographic and taxonomic biases of data could undermine effectiveness of models for conservation policy, we have collated from the published literature a global dataset of bee diversity at sites facing land-use change and intensification, and assess whether bee responses to these pressures vary across 11 regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe; North, Central and South America; Australia and New Zealand; South East Asia; Middle and Southern Africa) and between bumblebees and other bees. Our analyses highlight strong regionally-based responses of total abundance, species richness and Simpson's diversity to land use, caused by variation in the sensitivity of species and potentially in the nature of threats. These results suggest that global extrapolation of models based on geographically and taxonomically restricted data may underestimate the true uncertainty, increasing the risk of ecological surprises. PMID:27509831

  4. Predicting bee community responses to land-use changes: Effects of geographic and taxonomic biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Palma, Adriana; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Aizen, Marcelo A; Albrecht, Matthias; Basset, Yves; Bates, Adam; Blake, Robin J; Boutin, Céline; Bugter, Rob; Connop, Stuart; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Cunningham, Saul A; Darvill, Ben; Diekötter, Tim; Dorn, Silvia; Downing, Nicola; Entling, Martin H; Farwig, Nina; Felicioli, Antonio; Fonte, Steven J; Fowler, Robert; Franzén, Markus; Goulson, Dave; Grass, Ingo; Hanley, Mick E; Hendrix, Stephen D; Herrmann, Farina; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Jauker, Birgit; Kessler, Michael; Knight, M E; Kruess, Andreas; Lavelle, Patrick; Le Féon, Violette; Lentini, Pia; Malone, Louise A; Marshall, Jon; Pachón, Eliana Martínez; McFrederick, Quinn S; Morales, Carolina L; Mudri-Stojnic, Sonja; Nates-Parra, Guiomar; Nilsson, Sven G; Öckinger, Erik; Osgathorpe, Lynne; Parra-H, Alejandro; Peres, Carlos A; Persson, Anna S; Petanidou, Theodora; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F; Quaranta, Marino; Quintero, Carolina; Rader, Romina; Richards, Miriam H; Roulston, T'ai; Rousseau, Laurent; Sadler, Jonathan P; Samnegård, Ulrika; Schellhorn, Nancy A; Schüepp, Christof; Schweiger, Oliver; Smith-Pardo, Allan H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Tonietto, Rebecca K; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Verboven, Hans A F; Vergara, Carlos H; Verhulst, Jort; Westphal, Catrin; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Purvis, Andy

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification threaten bee populations worldwide, imperilling pollination services. Global models are needed to better characterise, project, and mitigate bees' responses to these human impacts. The available data are, however, geographically and taxonomically unrepresentative; most data are from North America and Western Europe, overrepresenting bumblebees and raising concerns that model results may not be generalizable to other regions and taxa. To assess whether the geographic and taxonomic biases of data could undermine effectiveness of models for conservation policy, we have collated from the published literature a global dataset of bee diversity at sites facing land-use change and intensification, and assess whether bee responses to these pressures vary across 11 regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe; North, Central and South America; Australia and New Zealand; South East Asia; Middle and Southern Africa) and between bumblebees and other bees. Our analyses highlight strong regionally-based responses of total abundance, species richness and Simpson's diversity to land use, caused by variation in the sensitivity of species and potentially in the nature of threats. These results suggest that global extrapolation of models based on geographically and taxonomically restricted data may underestimate the true uncertainty, increasing the risk of ecological surprises. PMID:27509831

  5. Contribution of pollinators to seed production as revealed by differential pollinator exclusion in Clerodendrum trichotomum (Lamiaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryota L Sakamoto

    Full Text Available A diverse assemblage of pollinators, such as bees, beetles, flies, and butterflies, will often visit a single plant species. However, evaluating the effect of several insects on fruit and seed production is difficult in plants visited by a variety of insects. Here, we analyzed the effect of three types of pollinators, Papilio spp., Macroglossum pyrrhosticta, and Xylocopa appendiculata on fruit and seed production in Clerodendrum trichotomum by using a flower visitor barrier experiment with nets of specific mesh sizes. As a result, fruit/flower and seed/ovule ratios were significantly lower under Papilio exclusion than under natural conditions. On the other hand, ratios were not significantly different between Papilio excluded and both Papilio and M. pyrrhosticta excluded treatments. Therefore, Papilio and X. appendiculata are effective pollinators, whereas M. pyrrhosticta, which was the most frequent visitor, of C. trichotomum, is not. From our observations of visiting behaviors, we believe that because M. pyrrhosticta probably promotes self- pollination, this species is a non-effective pollinator. This is the first study to separate and compare the contribution of various visitors to the reproductive success of a plant.

  6. Large-Range Movements of Neotropical Orchid Bees Observed via Radio Telemetry

    OpenAIRE

    Wikelski, Martin; Moxley, Jerry; Eaton-Mordas, Alexander; Lopez-Uribe, Margarita M.; Holland, Richard; Moskowitz, David; Roubik, David W.; Kays, Roland

    2010-01-01

    Neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) are often cited as classic examples of trapline-foragers with potentially extensive foraging ranges. If long-distance movements are habitual, rare plants in widely scattered locations may benefit from euglossine pollination services. Here we report the first successful use of micro radio telemetry to track the movement of an insect pollinator in a complex and forested environment. Our results indicate that individual male orchid bees (Exaerete frontalis) h...

  7. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L Acosta

    Full Text Available The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring.

  8. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, André L; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Saraiva, Antonio M

    2016-01-01

    The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species) and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring. PMID:26882479

  9. Advances in pollination ecology from tropical plantation crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Cunningham, Saul A; Bos, Merijn; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-04-01

    Although ecologists traditionally focus on natural ecosystems, there is growing awareness that mixed landscapes of managed and unmanaged systems provide a research environment for understanding basic ecological relationships on a large scale. Here, we show how tropical agroforestry systems can be used to develop ideas about the mechanisms that influence species diversity and subsequent biotic interactions at different spatial scales. Our focus is on tropical plantation crops, mainly coffee and cacao, and their pollinators, which are of basic ecological interest as partners in an important mutualistic interaction. We review how insect-mediated pollination services depend on local agroforest and natural habitats in surrounding landscapes. Further, we evaluate the functional significance of pollinator diversity and the explanatory value of species traits, and we provide an intercontinental comparison of pollinator assemblages. We found that optimal pollination success might be best understood as a consequence of niche complementarities among pollinators in landscapes harboring various species. We further show that small cavity-nesting bees and small generalist beetles were especially affected by isolation from forest and that larger-bodied insects in the same landscapes were not similarly affected. We suggest that mixed tropical landscapes with agroforestry systems have great potential for future research on the interactions between plants and pollinators. PMID:18481518

  10. Potential host number in cuckoo bees (Psithyrus subgen. increases toward higher elevations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Nicolas Pradervand

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In severe and variable conditions, specialized resource selection strategies should be less frequent because extinction risks increase for species that depend on a single and unstable resource. Psithyrus (Bombus subgenus Psithyrus are bumblebee parasites that usurp Bombus nests and display inter‐specific variation in the number of hosts they parasitize. Using a phylogenetic comparative framework, we show that Psithyrus species at higher elevations display a higher number of hosts species compared with species restricted to lower elevations. Species inhabiting high elevations also cover a larger temperature range, suggesting that species able to occur in colder conditions may benefit from recruitment from populations occurring in warmer conditions. Our results provide evidence for an ‘altitudinal niche breadth hypothesis’ in parasitic species, showing a decrease in the parasites’ specialization along the elevational gradient, and also suggesting that Rapoport’s rule might apply to Psithyrus. 

  11. Bee bread increases honeybee haemolymph protein and promote better survival despite of causing higher Nosema ceranae abundance in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basualdo, Marina; Barragán, Sergio; Antúnez, Karina

    2014-08-01

    Adequate protein nutrition supports healthy honeybees and reduces the susceptibility to disease. However little is known concerning the effect of the diet on Nosema ceranae development, an obligate intracellular parasite that disturbs the protein metabolism of honeybees (Apis mellifera). Here we tested the effect of natural (bee bread) and non-natural protein diets (substitute) on haemolymph proteins titers of honeybee and N. ceranae spore production. The natural diet induced higher levels of protein and parasite development, but the survival of bees was also higher than with non-natural diets. The data showed that the administration of an artificially high nutritious diet in terms of crude protein content is not sufficient to promote healthy bees; rather the protein ingested should be efficiently assimilated. The overall results support the idea that the physiological condition of the bees is linked to protein levels in the haemolymph, which affects the tolerance to parasite; consequently the negative impact of the parasite on host fitness is not associated only with the level of infection. PMID:24992539

  12. Bee bread increases honeybee haemolymph protein and promote better survival despite of causing higher Nosema ceranae abundance in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basualdo, Marina; Barragán, Sergio; Antúnez, Karina

    2014-08-01

    Adequate protein nutrition supports healthy honeybees and reduces the susceptibility to disease. However little is known concerning the effect of the diet on Nosema ceranae development, an obligate intracellular parasite that disturbs the protein metabolism of honeybees (Apis mellifera). Here we tested the effect of natural (bee bread) and non-natural protein diets (substitute) on haemolymph proteins titers of honeybee and N. ceranae spore production. The natural diet induced higher levels of protein and parasite development, but the survival of bees was also higher than with non-natural diets. The data showed that the administration of an artificially high nutritious diet in terms of crude protein content is not sufficient to promote healthy bees; rather the protein ingested should be efficiently assimilated. The overall results support the idea that the physiological condition of the bees is linked to protein levels in the haemolymph, which affects the tolerance to parasite; consequently the negative impact of the parasite on host fitness is not associated only with the level of infection.

  13. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  14. Euglossine bee communities in small forest fragments of the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Willian Moura Aguiar; Maria Cristina Gaglianone

    2012-01-01

    Euglossine bee communities in small forest fragments of the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Euglossine bees are important pollinators in forests and agricultural areas. Although the structure of their communities is critically affected by anthropogenic disturbances, little is known about these bees in small forest fragments. The objectives of this study were to analyze the composition, abundance, and diversity of euglossine bee species in nine...

  15. Foraging behavior of honey bees (hymenoptera: Apidae) on Brassica nigra and B. rapa grown under simulated ambient and enhanced UV-B radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two species of mustard, Brassica nigra and B. rapa, were grown under simulated ambient and enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and exposed to pollinators, Apis mellifera L. Observations were made to determine whether UV-B-induced changes in these plants affected pollinator behavior. Total duration of the foraging trip, number of flowers visited, foraging time per flower, search time per flower, total amount of pollen collected, and pollen collected per flower were measured. There were no significant differences between UV-B treatments in any of the behaviors measured or in any of the pollen measurements. These results suggest that increases in the amount of solar UV-B reaching the earth's surface may not have a negative effect on the relationship between these members of the genus Brassica and their honey bee pollinators. 28 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  16. Foraging behavior of honey bees (hymenoptera: Apidae) on Brassica nigra and B. rapa grown under simulated ambient and enhanced UV-B radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, S.A.; Robinson, G.E. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States); Conner, J.K. [Univ. of Illinois, Champaign, IL (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Two species of mustard, Brassica nigra and B. rapa, were grown under simulated ambient and enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and exposed to pollinators, Apis mellifera L. Observations were made to determine whether UV-B-induced changes in these plants affected pollinator behavior. Total duration of the foraging trip, number of flowers visited, foraging time per flower, search time per flower, total amount of pollen collected, and pollen collected per flower were measured. There were no significant differences between UV-B treatments in any of the behaviors measured or in any of the pollen measurements. These results suggest that increases in the amount of solar UV-B reaching the earth`s surface may not have a negative effect on the relationship between these members of the genus Brassica and their honey bee pollinators. 28 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  17. The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata: the world's most intensively managed solitary bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Cane, James H

    2011-01-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee (ALCB), Megachile rotundata F. (Megachildae), was accidentally introduced into the United States by the 1940s. Nest management of this Eurasian nonsocial pollinator transformed the alfalfa seed industry in North America, tripling seed production. The most common ALCB management practice is the loose cell system, in which cocooned bees are removed from nesting cavities for cleaning and storage. Traits of ALCBs that favored their commercialization include gregarious nesting; use of leaves for lining nests; ready acceptance of affordable, mass-produced nesting materials; alfalfa pollination efficacy; and emergence synchrony with alfalfa bloom. The ALCB became a commercial success because much of its natural history was understood, targeted research was pursued, and producer ingenuity was encouraged. The ALCB presents a model system for commercializing other solitary bees and for advancing new testable hypotheses in diverse biological disciplines. PMID:20809804

  18. Comparison of pollination and defensive buzzes in bumblebees indicates species-specific and context-dependent vibrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A.; Cox, Darryl A.; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2014-04-01

    Bees produce vibrations in many contexts, including for defense and while foraging. Buzz pollination is a unique foraging behavior in which bees vibrate the anthers of flowers to eject pollen which is then collected and used as food. The relationships between buzzing properties and pollen release are well understood, but it is less clear to what extent buzzing vibrations vary among species, even though such information is crucial to understanding the functional relationships between bees and buzz-pollinated plants. Our goals in this study were (1) to examine whether pollination buzzes differ from those produced during defense, (2) to evaluate the similarity of buzzes between different species of bumblebees ( Bombus spp.), and (3) to determine if body size affects the expression of buzzing properties. We found that relative peak amplitude, peak frequency, and duration were significantly different between species, but only relative peak amplitude differed between pollination and defensive buzzes. There were significant interactions between species and buzz type for peak frequency and duration, revealing that species differed in their patterns of expression in these buzz properties depending on the context. The only parameter affected by body size was duration, with larger bees producing shorter buzzes. Our findings suggest that although pollination and defensive buzzes differ in some properties, variability in buzz structure also exhibits a marked species-specific component. Species differences in pollination buzzes may have important implications for foraging preferences in bumblebees, especially if bees select flowers best matched to release pollen for their specific buzzing characteristics.

  19. Local and landscape effects on bee functional guilds in pigeon pea crops in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Otieno, Mark; Sidhu, C. Sheena; Woodcock, Ben A; Wilby, Andrew; Vogiatzakis, Ioannis N.; Mauchline, Alice L.; Mary W. Gikungu; Potts, Simon G.

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators face many challenges within agricultural systems due to landscape changes and intensification which can affect resource availability that can impact pollination services. This paper examines pigeon pea pollination and considers how landscape context and agricultural intensification in terms of pesticide use affects the abundance of bees characterized by species guilds on crops. The study was conducted on six paired farms across a gradient of habitat complexity based on the distanc...

  20. Pollinator conservation — the difference between managing for pollination services and preserving pollinator diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Senapathi, Deepa; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Breeze, T.; Kleijn, D.; Potts, S.G.; Carvalheiro, L.G.

    2015-01-01

    Our review looks at pollinator conservation and highlights the differences in approach between managing for pollination services and preserving pollinator diversity. We argue that ecosystem service management does not equal biodiversity conservation, and that maintaining species diversity is crucial

  1. Comparative toxicity of pesticides to stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdovinos-Núñez, Gustavo Rafael; Quezada-Euán, José Javier G; Ancona-Xiu, Patricia; Moo-Valle, Humberto; Carmona, Angelica; Ruiz Sanchez, Esaú

    2009-10-01

    Stingless bees are potential pollinators of commercial tropical crops and their use may increase in the short term. However, studies comparing the toxicity of pesticides to different individuals and species are lacking, making it difficult to evaluate their short- and long-term effects on colonies and populations of these insects. In this work, we tested the lethality of compounds from the main pesticide groups on stingless bees of the species Melipona beecheii Bennett, Trigona nigra Provancher, and Nannotrigona perilampoides Cresson. The LDo (in micrograms per bee) for each pesticide was calculated for callow workers and foragers of the three species as well as for gynes and drones of M. beecheii. The results showed that all species were highly susceptible to the evaluated compounds. Nicotinoid pesticides were the most toxic, followed in descending order by permethrin, diazinon, and methomyl. We found evidence of a relationship between the body weight of the species and their LD50 for permethrin and methomyl (r = 0.91 and 0.90, respectively) but not for diazinon (r = -0.089). An analysis of contingency tables showed that within each species, callow workers had higher mortalities than foragers (P agriculture of Mexico and Latin America PMID:19886436

  2. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponisio, Lauren C; Wilkin, Kate; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kulhanek, Kelly; Cook, Lindsay; Thorp, Robbin; Griswold, Terry; Kremen, Claire

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may

  3. Pollinator and herbivore attraction to cucurbita floral volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Elizabeth S; Theis, Nina; Adler, Lynn S

    2007-09-01

    Mutualists and antagonists may place conflicting selection pressures on plant traits. For example, the evolution of floral traits is typically studied in the context of attracting pollinators, but traits may incur fitness costs if they are also attractive to antagonists. Striped cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum) feed on cucurbits and are attracted to several volatiles emitted by Cucurbita blossoms. However, the effect of these volatiles on pollinator attraction is unknown. Our goal was to determine whether pollinators were attracted to the same or different floral volatiles as herbivorous cucumber beetles. We tested three volatiles previously found to attract cucumber beetles in a factorial design to determine attraction of squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa), the specialist pollinators of cucurbita species, as well as the specialist herbivore A. vittatum. We found that 1,2,4-trimethoxybenzene was attractive to both the pollinator and the herbivore, indole was attractive only to the herbivore, and (E)-cinnamaldehyde was attractive only to the pollinator. There were no interactions among volatiles on attraction of squash bees or cucumber beetles. Our results suggest that reduced indole emission could benefit plants by reducing herbivore attraction without loss of pollination, and that 1,2,4-trimethoxybenzene might be under conflicting selection pressure from mutualists and antagonists. By examining the attraction of both mutualists and antagonists to Cucurbita floral volatiles, we have demonstrated the potential for some compounds to influence only one type of interaction, while others may affect both interactions and possibly result in tradeoffs. These results shed light on the potential evolution of fragrance in native Cucurbita, and may have consequences for yield in agricultural settings.

  4. Insect Pollinators in Iowa Cornfields: Community Identification and Trapping Method Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Availability of mass flowering plants in landscapes dominated by agriculture can have a strong positive impact on the density of generalist, native pollinators. Row-crop production in Iowa accounts for 75% of the arable acres, with corn, Zea mays, representing the majority of hectares planted. To date, there has been no description of the insect pollinator community found within Iowa cornfields. We report a field study to determine the optimal sampling methodology to characterize the community of insect pollinators within cornfields. During 2012 and 2013, 3,616 insect pollinators representing 51 species were captured using bee bowls, and 945 individuals representing 10 species were captured using sticky cards. We examined the effects of trap type, height, and bowl color on the described community. Bee bowls captured a more abundant and species rich community than sticky cards with all species captured on sticky cards also present in bee bowls. Traps deployed at the height of the tassels describe a more abundant and species rich community of pollinators than traps at ear height (2x as many individuals) or ground height (4x as many individuals). Blue bowls captured more bees than white (2.75x as many individuals) or yellow bowls (3.5x as many individuals); and yellow bowls captured more flies than white (2x as many individuals) or blue (2.3x as many individuals). To provide the most complete description of the community of insect pollinators using cornfields as a resource, we suggest sampling-using bee bowls at the height of the tassels using all three bee bowl colors. PMID:27459648

  5. Insect Pollinators in Iowa Cornfields: Community Identification and Trapping Method Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelock, M J; O'Neal, M E

    2016-01-01

    Availability of mass flowering plants in landscapes dominated by agriculture can have a strong positive impact on the density of generalist, native pollinators. Row-crop production in Iowa accounts for 75% of the arable acres, with corn, Zea mays, representing the majority of hectares planted. To date, there has been no description of the insect pollinator community found within Iowa cornfields. We report a field study to determine the optimal sampling methodology to characterize the community of insect pollinators within cornfields. During 2012 and 2013, 3,616 insect pollinators representing 51 species were captured using bee bowls, and 945 individuals representing 10 species were captured using sticky cards. We examined the effects of trap type, height, and bowl color on the described community. Bee bowls captured a more abundant and species rich community than sticky cards with all species captured on sticky cards also present in bee bowls. Traps deployed at the height of the tassels describe a more abundant and species rich community of pollinators than traps at ear height (2x as many individuals) or ground height (4x as many individuals). Blue bowls captured more bees than white (2.75x as many individuals) or yellow bowls (3.5x as many individuals); and yellow bowls captured more flies than white (2x as many individuals) or blue (2.3x as many individuals). To provide the most complete description of the community of insect pollinators using cornfields as a resource, we suggest sampling-using bee bowls at the height of the tassels using all three bee bowl colors. PMID:27459648

  6. Genetic diversity populations of the blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) in eastern and western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    The blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) is a native pollinator that is an excellent candidate to supplement the honeybee in agricultural settings. Genetic diversity of wild-caught bees from several locations in eastern and western USA is being measured with mitochondrial and nuclear DNA segments. Ther...

  7. Genetic diversity in populations of the blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) is a native pollinator that is an excellent candidate to supplement the honeybee in agricultural settings. Genetic diversity of wild-caught bees from several locations in eastern and western USA is being measured across multiple mitochondrial and nuclear DNA seg...

  8. Polymorphic DNA sequences of the fungal honey bee pathogen Ascosphaera apis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Annette B; Welker, Dennis L; Kryger, Per;

    2012-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Ascosphaera apis is ubiquitous in honey bee populations. We used the draft genome assembly of this pathogen to search for polymorphic intergenic loci that could be used to differentiate haplotypes. Primers were developed for five such loci, and the species specificities were...... for the world's most important pollinator: the honey bee and one of its most common pathogens....

  9. Nectar robbers pollinate flowers with sexual organs hidden within corollas in distylous Primula secundiflora (Primulaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Xing-Fu; Wan, Jin-Peng; Li, Qing-Jun

    2010-01-01

    Nectar robbers are thought rarely to pollinate flowers, especially those with sexual organs hidden within corollas. In this study, we examined whether robbers pollinate flowers of distylous Primula secundiflora. Distylous plants have two floral morphs. Pin flowers have long styles and short stamens, and thrum flowers have short styles and long stamens. Flowers of P. secundiflora were commonly robbed by bumble-bees, and robbing holes were always situated between high and low sexual organs for ...

  10. Pollinators foraging modifies nectar sugar composition in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae): an experimental test1

    OpenAIRE

    Canto, Azucena; Carlos M Herrera; Medrano, Mónica; Pérez, Ricardo; García, Isabel M.

    2008-01-01

    We experimentally tested the hypothesis that the extensive within-plant variation of nectar sugar composition in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae) and other species results from differences between flowers and nectaries in pollinator visitation history. Experiments were conducted to mimic single-nectary visits by wild-caught individuals of the main bee pollinators of H. foetidus, which were assayed for their capacity to modify the sugar composition of natural and artificial nectar. Experime...

  11. First detection of viruses in Africanized honey bees from Peru

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Orlando; Yaez; Graciano; Tejada; Peter; Neumann

    2014-01-01

    <正>Dear Editor,The ability of the Western honey bee,Apis mellifera,to adapt to most climates of the world and the ongoing standardization of colony management has made this species of honey bees the most important species for crop pollination.In recent years,Peru emerged as a main exporter of industrial crops.This industry is mainly concentrated in the Peruvian coastal region,because the local climate permits off-season production

  12. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation.

  13. Evaluation of inflorescence visitors as pollinators of Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae): comparison of techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wist, Tyler J; Davis, Arthur R

    2013-10-01

    Inflorescences (heads or capitula) of the putative self-incompatible species, purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia (DC) Cronq. (Asteraceae)), were visited by insects representing the Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, in accordance with a generalist pollination syndrome. Measurement of the effectiveness of insect species as pollinators was accomplished by permitting solitary visits to receptive, central disc florets of virgin (previously bagged) heads. Four parameters were quantified: total stigmatic pollen load and proportion of pollen grains germinated, numbers of pollen tubes at style bases, and percentages of total receptive florets that had retracted (shrivelled) styles. Quantifying total and germinated pollen grains proved ineffective, partly owing to the tendency of self-pollen to initiate pollen tubes. The most effective pollinators were Apidae, especially bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) (mean: 39 - 61% of styles retracted). Other noteworthy pollinators were cloudless sulfur butterflies (Phoebis sennae L.--Pieridae; mean 47% of style bases with pollen tubes), golden blister beetles (Epicauta ferruginea Say--Meloidae; 44%), and grasshopper bee flies (Systoechus vulgaris Loew--Bombyliidae; 22%). Sunflower leafcutter bees (Megachile pugnata Say) were less effective (4% of styles retracted). Promisingly, analysis of the proportion of retracted styles provided similar results to the established technique of pollen-tube quantification, but had the significant advantages of being completed more rapidly, without a microscope, and in the field. The quantitative technique of retracted-style analysis appears well suited for prompt measurement of inflorescence-visiting insects as pollinators of many asteraceans. PMID:24224247

  14. Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Cannon, Charles H; Chen, Jin

    2016-04-13

    Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict coevolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. We experimentally test pollinator preference for floral volatiles, the main host recognition signal, from different figs. All five fig taxa shared pollinators with other taxa, and gene flow occurred between fig taxa within and between sections. Floral volatiles of each taxon attracted more than one pollinator species. Floral volatiles were more similar between closely related figs, which experienced higher levels of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. This study demonstrates that pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow occurs among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa and that pollinators choose the floral volatiles of multiple fig taxa. The implications of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow on diversification, occurring even in this highly specialized obligate pollination system, require further study. PMID:27075252

  15. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  16. Economic Evaluation of Pollination Services Comparing Coffee Landscapes in Ecuador and Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Schwarze

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation through land-use systems on private land is becoming a pressing environmental policy issue. Agroforestry, such as shade-coffee production, contributes to biodiversity conservation. However, falling coffee prices force many coffee growers to convert their sites into economically more attractive land uses. We performed an economic evaluation of coffee pollination by bees in two distinct tropical regions: an area of low human impact with forests neighboring agroforestry in Indonesia and an area of high human impact with little remaining forest in Ecuador. We evaluated bee pollination for different forest-destruction scenarios, where coffee yields depend on forests to provide nesting sites for bees. We used two novel approaches. First, we examined how coffee net revenues depend on the pollination services of adjacent forests by considering berry weight in addition to fruit set, thereby providing a comprehensive evaluation. Second, we determined the net welfare effects of land-use changes, including the fact that former forestland is normally used for alternative crops. In both regions, crop revenues exceeded coffee pollination values, generating incentives to convert forests, even if owners would be compensated for pollination services. The promotion of certified "biodiversity-friendly" coffee is a feasible option to maintain shade-coffee systems. This is of special importance in high-impact areas where only small forest fragments remain. We conclude that a comprehensive economic analysis is necessary to adequately evaluate rainforest preservation for the enhancement of ecosystem services, such as pollination.

  17. Xenobiotic Effects on Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation in Adult Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L) Workers

    OpenAIRE

    Cordelia Forkpah; Dixon, Luke R.; Fahrbach, Susan E.; Olav Rueppell

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by prolifer...

  18. Neonicotinoid-Contaminated Puddles of Water Represent a Risk of Intoxication for Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Olivier Samson-Robert; Geneviève Labrie; Madeleine Chagnon; Valérie Fournier

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a m...

  19. Assessing Insecticide Hazard to Bumble Bees Foraging on Flowering Weeds in Treated Lawns

    OpenAIRE

    Larson, Jonathan L.; Redmond, Carl T.; Potter, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of ...

  20. A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Bt Crops on Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Jian J Duan; Michelle Marvier; Joseph Huesing; Galen Dively; Zachary Y Huang

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are the most important pollinators of many agricultural crops worldwide and are a key test species used in the tiered safety assessment of genetically engineered insect-resistant crops. There is concern that widespread planting of these transgenic crops could harm honey bee populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a meta-analysis of 25 studies that independently assessed potential effects of Bt Cry proteins on honey bee survival (or ...

  1. How well do we understand landscape effects on pollinators and pollination services?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blandina Felipe Viana

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many studies in the past decade, mostly in temperate countries, have documented the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on species richness, composition, and abundance and the behaviour of pollinators. Changes in landscape structure are considered to be the primary causes of the limitation of pollination services in agricultural systems. Here, we review evidence of general patterns as well as gaps in knowledge that could be used to support the development of policies for pollinator conservation and the restoration of degraded landscapes. Our results indicate a recent increase in the number of studies on the relationships between pollination processes and landscape patterns, with some key trends already being established. Many authors indicate, for example, that the spatial organization of a landscape has a great influence on the survival and dispersal capacity of many pollinators, as spatial organization affects resource availability and determines the functional connectivity of the landscape. Additionally, the shape, size and spatial arrangement of the patches of each type of natural environment, as well as the occurrence of different types of land use, can create sites with different degrees of connectivity or even barriers to movement between patches, which can deeply modify pollinator flows through the landscape and consequently the success of cross-pollination. However, there are still some gaps, such as in the knowledge of which critical values of habitat loss can lead to drastic increases in pollinator extinction rates, information that is needed to evaluate at what point plant-pollinator interactions may collapse. We also need to concentrate research effort on improving a landscape’s capacity to facilitate pollinator flow (connectivity between crops and nesting/foraging areas.

  2. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Cause; Naughton, Ida; Boser, Christina; Alarcón, Ruben; Hung, Keng-Lou James; Holway, David

    2015-01-01

    Ants often visit flowers, but have only seldom been documented to provide effective pollination services. Floral visitation by ants can also compromise plant reproduction in situations where ants interfere with more effective pollinators. Introduced ants may be especially likely to reduce plant reproductive success through floral visitation, but existing experimental studies have found little support for this hypothesis. Here, we combine experimental and observational approaches to examine the importance of floral visitation by the nonnative Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) on plant species native to Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. First, we determine how L. humile affects floral visitor diversity, bee visitation rates, and levels of pollen limitation for the common, focal plant species island morning glory (Calystegia macrostegia ssp. macrostegia). Second, we assess the broader ecological consequences of floral visitation by L. humile by comparing floral visitation networks between invaded and uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant and native ants both visited island morning glory flowers, but L. humile was much more likely to behave aggressively towards other floral visitors and to be the sole floral occupant. The presence of L. humile in morning glory flowers reduced floral visitor diversity, decreased rates of bee visitation, and increased levels of pollen limitation. Network comparisons between invaded and uninvaded. sites revealed differences in both network structure and species-level attributes. In. invaded sites, floral visitors were observed on fewer plant species, ants had a higher per-plant interaction strength relative to that of other visitors, and interaction strengths between bees and plants were weaker. These results illustrate that introduced ants can negatively affect plant reproduction and potentially disrupt pollination services at an ecosystem scale. PMID:26236907

  3. Using citizen science to monitor pollination services

    OpenAIRE

    Birkin, Linda; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    1. Pollination by insects is a vital ecosystem service and the need for its assessment is increasing in recognition and political pressure, but there are currently no large-scale systematic monitoring schemes in place to measure the direct provision of this service. 2. This study tested a protocol for using a citizen science approach to quantify pollination service provision in gardens and allotments, requiring participants to grow Vica faba L. plants and carry out some simple manipulation...

  4. INTERIM PROTOCOL FOR TESTING THE EFFECTS OF MICROBIAL PATHOGENS ON THE HONEY BEE, APIS MELLIFERA L. (HYMENOPTERA:APIDAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Registration of Microbial Pest Control Agents (MPCAs) under Subsection M of the EPA Pesticide Assessment Guidelines requires that the susceptibility of nontarget species be tested. Honey bees as supplemental pollinators of many entomophilous crop species and as producers of honey...

  5. Decadal trends in the pollinator assemblage of Eucryphia cordifolia in Chilean rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Ramírez, Cecilia; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Martínez, Paula; Castillo, Jessica A; Armesto, Juan J

    2014-09-01

    Long-term studies of plant-pollinator interactions are almost nonexistent in the scientific literature. The objective of the present study was to determine changes and trends in the pollinator assemblage of ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia; Cunoniaceae), a canopy-emergent tree found in Chilean temperate rainforests. We assessed the temporal variability of the pollinator assemblage and identified possible modulators of the observed temporal shifts. We sampled insect visitors to the flowers of 16 individual trees of E. cordifolia during 10 consecutive flowering seasons (2000-2009), recording a total of 137 pollinator species with a mean number of species per year of 44. Only three pollinator species (2.2%) were recorded every year. Two bee species accounted for 50% of all insect visits to flowers. One bee species, Bombus dahlbomii (native), was dominant in one season, whereas Apis mellifera (exotic) dominated during the next season. These interannual shifts in population abundances presented first-order dynamics that were characterized by oscillations with a period of 2 years. Changes in the abundances of the dominant pollinators, as well as differences in temperature and precipitation during insect emergence and flowering, led to a nested temporal structure of pollinator composition. Furthermore, the abundances of less common pollinators were sensitive to the abundance of the dominant bee species and to monthly maximum temperatures and the average precipitation during spring and summer. Based on our results and those from other studies, we predict a decline in the numbers of Bombus dahlbomii and nondominant native pollinators in response to new exotic arrivals. PMID:25001339

  6. Honey bee genotypes and the environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meixner, Marina D; Büchler, Ralph; Costa, Cecilia;

    2014-01-01

    Although knowledge about honey bee geographic and genetic diversity has increased tremendously in recent decades, the adaptation of honey bees to their local environment has not been well studied. The current demand for high economic performance of bee colonies with desirable behavioural...

  7. Risk to pollinators from the use of chlorpyrifos in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, G Christopher; Purdy, John; Giesy, John P; Solomon, Keith R

    2014-01-01

    CPY is an organophosphorus insecticide that is widely used in North American agriculture. It is non-systemic, comes in several sprayable and granular formulations,and is used on a number of high-acreage crops on which pollinators can forage,including tree fruits, alfalfa, corn, sunflower, and almonds. Bees (Apoidea) are the most important pollinators of agricultural crops in North America and were the main pollinators of interest in this risk assessment.The conceptual model identified a number of potential exposure pathways for pollinators, some more significant than others. CPY is classified as being highly toxic to honey bees by direct contact exposure. However, label precautions and good agricultural practices prohibit application of CPY when bees are flying and/or when flowering crops or weeds are present in the treatment area. Therefore, the risk of CPY to pollinators through direct contact exposure should be small. The main hazards for primary exposure for honey bees are dietary and contact exposure from flowers that were sprayed during application and remain available to bees after application. The main pathways for potential secondary exposure to CPY is through pollen and nectar brought to the hive by forager bees and the sublethal body burden of CPY carried on forager bees. Foraging for other materials, including water or propolis, does not appear to be an important exposure route. Since adult forager honey bees are most exposed, their protection from exposure via pollen, honey, and contact with plant surfaces is expected to be protective of other life stages and castes of honey bees.Tier- I approaches to estimate oral exposure to CPY through pollen and nectar/honey, the principle food sources for honey bees, suggested that CPY poses a risk to honey bees through consumption of pollen and nectar. However, a Tier-2 assessment of concentrations reported in pollen and honey from monitoring work in North America indicated there is little risk of acute toxicity

  8. Apis mellifera pollination improves agronomic productivity of anemophilous castor bean (Ricinus communis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rômulo A.G. Rizzardo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Castor bean (Ricinus communis L. is cultivated mainly for biodiesel production because of its oil-rich seeds; it is assumed to be an anemophylous species. But pollination deficit can lead to low productivity often attributed to other reasons. In this paper, we investigated pollination requirements, pollination mechanism, occurrence of pollination deficit, and the role of biotic pollinators in a large commercial plantation of castor bean. Our results show that R. communis bears a mixed breeding system favoring selfing by geitonogamy, although the wind promotes mostly outcrossing. We also found that the honey bee (Apis mellifera L. foraging on castor bean can both transfer pollen from male to female flowers within the same raceme and boost the release of airborne pollen by male flowers. Both situations increase geitonogamy rates, raising significantly fruit set and seed yield. This is the first report of an animal foraging activity increasing seed yield in an anemophilous and geitonogamous crop and elucidates the role of biotic pollinators in castor bean reproduction.A mamoneira (Ricinus communis L. é cultivada principalmente para produção de biodiesel devido ao alto teor de óleo de suas sementes e considerada como sendo de polinização anemófila. Mas déficits de polinização podem levar a baixos índices de produtividade geralmente atribuídos a outros fatores. Neste trabalho foram investigados os requerimentos, mecanismos e déficit de polinização e o papel dos polinizadores bióticos em um monocultivo comercial de mamona. Os resultados mostram que R. communis possui um sistema de polinização misto, favorecendo a autopolinização por geitonogamia, embora o vento normalmente promova polinização cruzada. Observou-se também que a abelha melífera (Apis mellifera L. forrageando na mamoneira pode tanto transferir pólen das flores estaminadas para as pistiladas do mesmo racemo, quanto aumentar consideravelmente a liberação de p

  9. Habitat assessment ability of bumble-bees implies frequency-dependent selection on floral rewards and display size

    OpenAIRE

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Gegear, Robert J

    2007-01-01

    Foraging pollinators could visit hundreds of flowers in succession on mass-flowering plants, yet they often visit only a small number—potentially saving the plant from much self-pollination among its own flowers (geitonogamy). This study tests the hypothesis that bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens) residence on a particular plant depends on an assessment of that plant's reward value relative to the overall quality experienced in the habitat. In a controlled environment, naive bees were given experi...

  10. Pollinator diversity (Hymenoptera and Diptera in semi-natural habitats in Serbia during summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mudri-Stojnić Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess species diversity and population abundance of the two main orders of pollinating insects, Hymenoptera and Diptera. The survey was conducted in 16 grassland fragments within agro-ecosystems in Vojvodina, as well as in surrounding fields with mass-flowering crops. Pollinators were identified and the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was used to measure their diversity. Five families, 7 subfamilies, 26 genera and 63 species of insects were recorded. All four big pollinator groups investigated were recorded; hoverflies were the most abundant with 32% of the total number of individuals, followed by wild bees - 29%, honeybees - 23% and bumblebees with 16%.

  11. Notes on the pollination ecology of the palm genus Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae

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    Yoke Mui Chan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The floral biology and flower visitors of the tropical palms Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, J. magnifica and J. perakensis were investigated. We combined the data from this study with published data of J. lanceolata to give an overview of the reproductive biology and pollination system of the genus. Anthesis peaks from 0500–1100 hrs when the inflorescences are visited mainly by flies, beetles and stingless bees (Trigona, the last are potential pollinators. The breeding system is facultative selfing, indicating the ability of the species to reproduce in the absence of pollinators or in isolation.

  12. The influence of diversity changes of ecological conditions on the survival of honey bees%生态条件的多样性变化对蜜蜂生存的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    侯春生; 张学锋

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees are essential species of ecological chain which play an important role in pollination in the whole ecosystem. By far the most important contribution honey bees make to modem agriculture is the pollination services that they provide. Fifty-two of the 115 leading global food commodities depend on honey bee pollination for either fruit or seed set. Honey bee is the most ideal pollinator, and honey bee industry has played a vital role in maintenance of environment development and protection of ecological equilibrium. At present, propaganda should be vigorously carried out on the role of honey bee pollination in increasing agriculture production and protection of ecological equilibrium. Honey bees are a greatly valued resource all of the world. They are prized for their honey and wax production and depended upon for pollination of many important crops. While globally honey bee populations have been increasing, the rate of increase is not keeping pace with demand. Further, honey bee populations have not been increasing in all parts of the world, and have declined in many nations in Europe and in North America. In recent year,CCD has broken out many times in the global range, and the population number of honey bees has sharply declined, so the situation is worrisome. Managed honey bee populations are influenced by many factors including diseases, parasites, pesticides, the environment, and socio-economic factors. These factors can act alone or in combination with each other. Modern agriculture increasingly depends on the use of chemical substances to control weeds, fungi and arthropod pests to ensure high yields. Honey bees may frequently become exposed to environmental chemicals as a consequence of their foraging activities, and traditionally, the focus of pesticide regulations was more on protection of bees against direct poisoning. However, since the substances that are being used have changed, damage from acute toxicity is not the only threat to bees

  13. Do abundance and proximity of the alien Impatiens glandulifera affect pollination and reproductive success of two sympatric co-flowering native species?

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    Anne-Laure Jacquemart

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In invasion ecology, potential impacts of aliens on native flora are still under debate. Our aim was to determine the pollinator mediated effects of both proximity and abundance of an alien species on the reproductive success of natives. We chose the highly invasive Impatiens glandulifera and two native species: Epilobium angustifolium and Aconitum napellus ssp. lusitanicum. These species share characteristics allowing for pollination interactions: similar biotopes, overlapping flowering periods and same main pollinators. The effects of abundance (5, 25 and 100 individuals and proximity (0 and 15 m of the alien on visitation rate, insect behaviour, pollen deposition and reproductive success of both natives were investigated during 2 flowering seasons. We used centred visitation rates as they can be directly interpreted as a positive or negative effect of the invasive.Both abundance and proximity of the alien increased bumblebee visitation rates to both natives. On the other hand, abundance of the exotic species had a slight negative effect on honeybee visits to natives while its proximity had no effect. The behaviour of bumblebees changed as visitors left significantly more often the native plants for I. glandulifera when its abundance increased. As a consequence of this “inconstancy”, bees deposited considerable quantities of alien pollen on native stigmas. Nevertheless, this interspecific pollen transfer did not decrease seed set in natives. Self-compatibility and high attractiveness of both native species probably alleviate the risk of altered pollinator services and reproductive success due to the invader in natural populations.

  14. Honey bee lines selected for high propolis production also have superior hygienic behavior and increased honey and pollen stores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicodemo, D; De Jong, D; Couto, R H N; Malheiros, E B

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees use propolis to defend against invaders and disease organisms. As some colonies produce much more propolis than others, we investigated whether propolis collecting is associated with disease resistance traits, including hygienic behavior and resistance to the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The three highest (HP) and three lowest propolis-producing (LP) colonies among 36 Africanized honey bee colonies were initially selected. Queens and drones from these colonies were crossed through artificial insemination to produce five colonies of each of the following crosses: HP♀ X HP♂, LP♀ X HP♂, HP♀ X LP♂, and LP♀ X LP♂. Colonies headed by HP♀ X HP♂ queens produced significantly more propolis than those with HP♀ X LP♂ and LP♀ X HP♂ queens and these in turn produced significantly more propolis than those headed by LP♀ X LP♂ queens. The brood cell uncapping rate of the high-propolis-producing colonies in the hygienic behavior test was significantly superior to that of the other groups. The LP X LP group was significantly less hygienic than the two HP X LP crosses, based on the evaluation of the rate of removal of pin-killed pupae. The HP X HP colonies were significantly more hygienic than the other crosses. No significant differences were found in mite infestation rates among the groups of colonies; although overall, colony infestation rates were quite low (1.0 to 3.2 mites per 100 brood cells), which could have masked such effects. Honey and pollen stores were significantly and positively correlated with propolis production. PMID:24391041

  15. Pollination, seed set and fruit quality in apple: studies with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Cory Silas Sheffield

    2014-01-01

    The orchard crop pollinator Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) was evaluated for apple pollination in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada during 2000-2001. Resulting pollination levels (measured as pollen grains on floral stigmas), percent fruit set, mature fruit weight and seed yield were evaluated against an attempted gradient of Osmia bee density. In addition, fruit quality was assessed using two symmetry indices, one based on fruit diameter, the second on fruit height. Polli...

  16. Potential pollinators and robbers: a study of the floral visitors of Heliconia angusta (Heliconiaceae and their behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hensen, Isabell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Floral syndromes are traditionally thought to be associated with particular pollinator groups. Ornithophilous flowers tend to have traits that facilitate bird pollination such as having long, narrow, tubular corollas, often vivid coloration and diluted, sucrose-rich nectar. However, recent studies have shown that flowers attract a broader spectrum of visitors than might be expected. Furthermore, the classification of floral visitors as ‘robbers’ or ‘pollinators’ often is not as simple as it seems, as pollinators can at times act as robbers and vice versa. We studied the species composition, behaviour and ecology of floral visitors, including potential pollinators and robbers, of Heliconia angusta (Heliconiaceae, an endemic understorey herb of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. In addition, the impact of the plant inflorescence attractiveness and of weather and light conditions on visitor abundance and frequency was investigated. Flower visitors were found to be scarce with a total of only 151 visits being observed during 120 h of field observations. A stingless bee species (Trigona sp. appeared to be the most abundant visitor to the ornithophilous flowers of H. angusta, along with four different species of hummingbirds and two species of butterflies. We consider Trigona sp. rather as pollen robber, but which still has the potential to be a secondary pollinator, whereas the hummingbirds were the principle legitimate visitors. Most flower visitors were recorded between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm with a higher number visiting under semi-shaded conditions than in full shade. Hummingbird numbers increased with flower abundance while the other visitor group numbers were not affected.

  17. Pollination and floral ecology of Arundina graminifolia (Orchidaceae) at the northern border of the species' natural distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiura, Naoto

    2014-01-01

    Arundina graminifolia is an early successional plant on Iriomote Island, the Ryukyus, Japan, where it is endangered. Populations flower for more than half a year, and many inflorescences bloom for one to several months. The nectarless gullet flowers, which open for up to six days, are self-compatible but cannot self-pollinate spontaneously; thus they rely on pollinating agents for capsule production. Field observations at two habitats identified at least six species of bees and wasps, primarily mate-seeking males of Megachile yaeyamaensis and Thyreus takaonis, as legitimate pollinators. Thus, this orchid is a pollinator generalist, probably owing to its long blooming period and simple flower morphology. Carpenter bees, which were previously reported to pollinate this orchid, frequently visited flowers but were too large to crawl into the labellum chamber and never pollinated the flowers. Extrafloral nectaries on inflorescences attracted approximately 40 insect taxa but were not involved with pollination. Fruit-set ratios at the population level varied spatiotemporally but were generally low (5.2-12.4 %), presumably owing to infrequent flower visits by mate-seeking pollinators and the lack of food rewards to pollinators. PMID:23917792

  18. Pollinator Foraging Adaptation and Coexistence of Competing Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revilla, Tomás A.; Křivan, Vlastimil

    2016-01-01

    We use the optimal foraging theory to study coexistence between two plant species and a generalist pollinator. We compare conditions for plant coexistence for non-adaptive vs. adaptive pollinators that adjust their foraging strategy to maximize fitness. When pollinators have fixed preferences, we show that plant coexistence typically requires both weak competition between plants for resources (e.g., space or nutrients) and pollinator preferences that are not too biased in favour of either plant. We also show how plant coexistence is promoted by indirect facilitation via the pollinator. When pollinators are adaptive foragers, pollinator’s diet maximizes pollinator’s fitness measured as the per capita population growth rate. Simulations show that this has two conflicting consequences for plant coexistence. On the one hand, when competition between pollinators is weak, adaptation favours pollinator specialization on the more profitable plant which increases asymmetries in plant competition and makes their coexistence less likely. On the other hand, when competition between pollinators is strong, adaptation promotes generalism, which facilitates plant coexistence. In addition, adaptive foraging allows pollinators to survive sudden loss of the preferred plant host, thus preventing further collapse of the entire community. PMID:27505254

  19. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

  20. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species. PMID:25004171

  1. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  2. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R V; Roth, Cali L; Carlson, Benjamin L; Smart, Matthew D

    2016-09-13

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  3. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R V; Roth, Cali L; Carlson, Benjamin L; Smart, Matthew D

    2016-09-13

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes. PMID:27573824

  4. Behavioral Modulation of Infestation by Varroa destructor in Bee Colonies. Implications for Colony Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has become a global problem for beekeepers and for the crops that depend on bee pollination. While many factors are known to increase the risk of colony collapse, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is considered to be the most serious one. Although this mite is unlikely to cause the collapse of hives itself, it is the vector for many viral diseases which are among the likely causes for Colony Collapse Disorder. The effects of V. destructor infestation differ from one part of the world to another, with greater morbidity and higher colony losses in European honey bees (EHB) in Europe, Asia and North America. Although this mite has been present in Brazil for many years, there have been no reports of colony losses amongst Africanized Honey Bees (AHB). Studies carried out in Mexico have highlighted different behavioral responses by the AHB to the presence of the mite, notably as far as grooming and hygienic behavior are concerned. Could these explain why the AHB are less susceptible to Colony Collapse Disorder? In order to answer this question, we have developed a mathematical model of the infestation dynamics to analyze the role of resistance behavior by bees in the overall health of the colony, and as a consequence, its ability to face epidemiological challenges. PMID:27583438

  5. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Rehan, Sandra M; Anderson, Kirk E

    2013-01-01

    The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial communities in honey bee larvae. The larval gut is the target of highly pathogenic bacteria and fungi, highlighting the need to understand interactions between typical larval gut flora, nutrition and disease progression. Here we show that the larval gut is colonized by a handful of bacterial groups previously described from guts of adult honey bees or other pollinators. First and second larval instars contained almost exclusively Alpha 2.2, a core Acetobacteraceae, while later instars were dominated by one of two very different Lactobacillus spp., depending on the sampled site. Royal jelly inhibition assays revealed that of seven bacteria occurring in larvae, only one Neisseriaceae and one Lactobacillus sp. were inhibited. We found both core and environmentally vectored bacteria with putatively beneficial functions. Our results suggest that early inoculation by Acetobacteraceae may be important for microbial succession in larvae. This assay is a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro models of nutrition and disease resistance in honey bee larvae. PMID:23991051

  6. The Degree of Intoxication at Bees with Some Substances from the Pesticides Group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alin Jivan

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the paper is to prove the impact of the treatment with pesticides, at the entomophilous crops, on their main pollinator, the bees, and also to highlight the protection measures of the man and bee families against intoxications with pesticides. Refers to some commonly used insecticides in agriculture for the control of harmful insects. In order to detect the intoxication degree of bees, samples of honey contaminated with pesticides prepared and administered as food to bees from experiments, were examined using the HPLC (High performance liquid chromatography chromatograph. The control sample and also the samples contaminated with Decis 2.5 EC, Faster 10 EC, Karate Zeon and Lider 70 WG were analyzed. Some solutions have been prepared with all the commercial products enumerated. The process has been started with the concentration recommended by the producing firm for each product at it was considered that it represents the 1% concentration used in combating pests from agricultural fields, from this percent there was an increase respecting the dilution up to the concentration of 1,25%.

  7. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Rehan, Sandra M; Anderson, Kirk E

    2013-01-01

    The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial communities in honey bee larvae. The larval gut is the target of highly pathogenic bacteria and fungi, highlighting the need to understand interactions between typical larval gut flora, nutrition and disease progression. Here we show that the larval gut is colonized by a handful of bacterial groups previously described from guts of adult honey bees or other pollinators. First and second larval instars contained almost exclusively Alpha 2.2, a core Acetobacteraceae, while later instars were dominated by one of two very different Lactobacillus spp., depending on the sampled site. Royal jelly inhibition assays revealed that of seven bacteria occurring in larvae, only one Neisseriaceae and one Lactobacillus sp. were inhibited. We found both core and environmentally vectored bacteria with putatively beneficial functions. Our results suggest that early inoculation by Acetobacteraceae may be important for microbial succession in larvae. This assay is a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro models of nutrition and disease resistance in honey bee larvae.

  8. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svjetlana Vojvodic

    Full Text Available The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial communities in honey bee larvae. The larval gut is the target of highly pathogenic bacteria and fungi, highlighting the need to understand interactions between typical larval gut flora, nutrition and disease progression. Here we show that the larval gut is colonized by a handful of bacterial groups previously described from guts of adult honey bees or other pollinators. First and second larval instars contained almost exclusively Alpha 2.2, a core Acetobacteraceae, while later instars were dominated by one of two very different Lactobacillus spp., depending on the sampled site. Royal jelly inhibition assays revealed that of seven bacteria occurring in larvae, only one Neisseriaceae and one Lactobacillus sp. were inhibited. We found both core and environmentally vectored bacteria with putatively beneficial functions. Our results suggest that early inoculation by Acetobacteraceae may be important for microbial succession in larvae. This assay is a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro models of nutrition and disease resistance in honey bee larvae.

  9. Vertical and horizontal distribution of pollination systems in cerrado fragments of central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Quintas Martins

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available In fragments of the cerrado, we determined the frequency of pollination systems and analyzed their spatial distribution. We placed 38 transects, sampling 2,280 individuals and 121 species. As expected in Neotropical regions, bee-pollination was the most frequent pollination system. We found a decrease in the frequency of plants pollinated by beetles towards the fragment interior. Similarly, we found significant variation in relation to height just for the bats; there was an increase in the frequency of plants pollinated by bats towards the higher heights. In general, we found no horizontal and vertical variation in the pollination systems, probably as consequence of the more open physiognomy of the cerrado vegetation.As principais pressões seletivas nas estratégias de polinização originam principalmente do ambiente em que plantas ocorrem, como subdossel, dossel, borda ou interior de um fragmento. Diferentes condições ambientais aumentam as diferenças entre os nichos ecológicos e podem implicar diferenças nas proporções dos sistemas de polinização. Em fragmentos de cerrado, determinamos a freqüência dos sistemas de polinização e analisamos sua distribuição espacial. Lançamos 38 transecções aleatoriamente, amostrando 2.280 indivíduos e 121 espécies. Como esperado para regiões neotropicais, a polinização por abelhas foi o sistema de polinização mais freqüente. Encontramos uma diminuição na freqüência de plantas polinizadas por besouros em direção ao interior do fragmento. De modo similar, encontramos uma variação significativa em relação à altura somente para os morcegos, havendo um aumento na freqüência de plantas em direção a alturas mais altas. Em geral, não encontramos variações horizontais e verticais nos sistemas de polinização, provavelmente, como conseqüência da fisionomia mais aberta de cerrado.

  10. Foraging responses of bumble bees to rewardless floral patches: importance of within-plant variance in nectar presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Shoko; Kudo, Gaku

    2016-01-01

    Spatiotemporal variation in nectar distribution is a key factor affecting pollinator movements between flowers and plants within a population. Pollinators having systematic searching ability can flexibly respond to the reward condition of floral patches, and they tend to revisit rewarding patches. However, foraging behaviour may be influenced by the nectar distribution within populations. To evaluate the effects of unrewarding experiences and plant distribution, we compared bumble bee foraging behaviours between naturally rewarding and artificially rewardless (by nectary removal) patches in two aconite populations with different plant densities. Visitation frequency to the patches, number of successive flower visits within inflorescences, and successive inflorescence visits within patches were recorded. Nectar production and standing crop were also measured. Bumble bees increased the movements between neighbouring inflorescences instead of leaving the patches when they faced rewardless flowers. A large variance in nectar production existed among flowers within plants. This might explain the observed bumble bee behaviour, because they could be rewarded by moving to the adjacent inflorescences even after a rewardless experience. Our results imply that a highly variable nectar reward in a population might mask the disadvantage of completely rewardless individuals. PMID:27178064

  11. From dusk till dawn: nocturnal and diurnal pollination in the epiphyte Tillandsia heterophylla (Bromeliaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, P A; Krömer, T; García-Franco, J G; MacSwiney G, M C

    2016-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the reproductive biology and pollinators of Tillandsia heterophylla E. Morren, an epiphytic tank bromeliad endemic to southeastern Mexico. Since anthesis in T. heterophylla is predominantly nocturnal but lasts until the following day, we hypothesised that this bromeliad would receive visits from both diurnal and nocturnal visitors, but that nocturnal visitors would be the most effective pollinators, since they arrive first to the receptive flower, and that bats would be the most frequent nocturnal visitors, given the characteristics of the nectar. Flowering of T. heterophylla began in May and lasted until July. The species is fully self-compatible, with an anthesis that lasts for ca. 15-16 h. Mean volume of nectar produced per flower was 82.21 μl, with a mean sugar concentration of 6.33%. The highest volume and concentration of nectar were found at 20:00 h, with a subsequent decline in both to almost zero over the following 12-h period. T. heterophylla has a generalist pollination system, since at least four different morphospecies of visitors pollinate its flowers: bats, moths, hummingbirds and bees. Most of the pollinating visits corresponded to bats and took place in the early evening, when stigma receptivity had already begun; making bats the probable pollinator on most occasions. However, diurnal pollinators may be important as a 'fail-safe' system by which to guarantee the pollination of T. heterophylla.

  12. From dusk till dawn: nocturnal and diurnal pollination in the epiphyte Tillandsia heterophylla (Bromeliaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, P A; Krömer, T; García-Franco, J G; MacSwiney G, M C

    2016-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the reproductive biology and pollinators of Tillandsia heterophylla E. Morren, an epiphytic tank bromeliad endemic to southeastern Mexico. Since anthesis in T. heterophylla is predominantly nocturnal but lasts until the following day, we hypothesised that this bromeliad would receive visits from both diurnal and nocturnal visitors, but that nocturnal visitors would be the most effective pollinators, since they arrive first to the receptive flower, and that bats would be the most frequent nocturnal visitors, given the characteristics of the nectar. Flowering of T. heterophylla began in May and lasted until July. The species is fully self-compatible, with an anthesis that lasts for ca. 15-16 h. Mean volume of nectar produced per flower was 82.21 μl, with a mean sugar concentration of 6.33%. The highest volume and concentration of nectar were found at 20:00 h, with a subsequent decline in both to almost zero over the following 12-h period. T. heterophylla has a generalist pollination system, since at least four different morphospecies of visitors pollinate its flowers: bats, moths, hummingbirds and bees. Most of the pollinating visits corresponded to bats and took place in the early evening, when stigma receptivity had already begun; making bats the probable pollinator on most occasions. However, diurnal pollinators may be important as a 'fail-safe' system by which to guarantee the pollination of T. heterophylla. PMID:25683682

  13. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    the invasive. In fact, in one year fruit set of S. alba was significantly greater in the presence of L. salicaria. The number of invasive pollen grains on native stigmas was extremely low; on average less than one grain per stigma. These fruit set and pollen deposition findings indicate that native plant reproduction was not adversely affected in the short term by these invasive species and that therefore competition between the native and invasive species for pollinators did not occur. Native bee populations monitored in 2004-2005 at sites with and without B. thunbergii and/or F. alnus indicated a greater abundance of native bees at sites with these invasives present. Native bees collected from the native and invasive plants were compared with historical records to assess whether invasive plants favor different bee species than those that formerly predominated on Mount Desert Island. This does not appear to be the case. Several species of bumble bees (Bombus spp.) as well as nine solitary bee species were found that were not documented by the Procter surveys of 1917-1940. Collecting of native bees was limited to the study plants, which may, in part, explain why some bee species documented in the Procter Surveys were not found in the present research. A field guide for identification of native bumble bees has been produced to help Park Natural Resource personnel monitor the status of native bee populations in Acadia. Other educational materials were also developed, aimed at educating Park visitors by exposing them to: 1) the role of native plants and their bee pollinators in terrestrial ecosystems; 2) the effects of invasive plants on native plant-pollinator mutualisms; 3) the need for conserving native bees and other pollinators; and 4) conservation strategies for protecting and enhancing native plant-pollinator mutualisms in the Park. Based on the present findings, Acadia Park Resource Management personnel should continue to closely

  14. Erratic pollination, high selfing levels and their correlates and consequences in an altitudinally widespread above-tree-line species in the high Andes of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T. K.; Muñoz, María S.; Henríquez, Carolina; Till-Bottraud, Irène; Pérez, Fernánda

    2006-09-01

    Unfavorable temperatures and weather conditions for biotic pollination in above-tree-line alpine habitats predict self-compatibility, high levels of autogamy and small flower size ("autogamy reproductive assurance hypothesis"), or alternatively, compensatory measures such as greater flower longevity and larger display size so as to capture scarce visits and maintain outcrossing ("increased pollination probability hypothesis"). We assess these possibilities in a fine-tuned study of Chaetanthera euphrasioides (Asteraceae) populations located above-tree-line in the Andes of central Chile, where prior, independently obtained information on community flower visitation rates is available. Visitation by flies and Andrenid bees was highly erratic in all populations and among years, and the rates well below the community averages. We found evidence for high levels of self-compatibility, equally high autogamous potential, low genetic diversity and high and similar F IS in all populations studied, associated with no clear trends in floral morphology. Strong decoupling of C. euphrasioides reproductive biology with community-level pollinator availability in the alpine fails to support either of the above-mentioned hypotheses and suggests early acquisition of autogamy with present-day pollinator conditions being adequate to maintain low visitation rates at all elevations. Our study provides the only instance where alternative hypotheses on alpine breeding systems have been tested with prior access to independently quantified community-level flower visitation rates.

  15. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees</